Kimberly Lerch pitched as well as anyone could have expected but it was not enough to stop Providence’s No. 4 and No. 5 hitters, Rachel Bartholomew and Elena Romero.
The series provided an offensive drought, but the Friars (24-14-1, 7-7 Big East) stopped the Storm from precipitating the most runs en route to a 3-1 Providence win.
Lerch and Providence’s Jennifer Maccio played a game of “Simon Says” from the pitcher’s mound. As Maccio mowed down the St. John’s offense, Lerch, in turn, would respond against the Providence lineup.
The pitchers’ duel ended, however, in the fourth inning when Lerch gave up back-to-back homeruns to Bartholomew and Romero.
The pair went a combined 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. They put St. John’s in a hole it couldn not recover from.
St. John’s lone offensive bright spot came in the top of the sixth when Roxann Struble’s RBI single scored Jo Sherlock from second and cut the deficit to 2-1.
Providence again answered in the bottom of the frame when a Gina Rossi RBI single to centerfield scored Caroline Santilli and gave Providence its final run.
It was just enough for Providence, who cruised through the rest of the game and picked up the victory, edging the Storm.
St. John’s 2, Providence 1
The Red Storm needed eight innings but they pulled out the victory in the first game of the double-header.
Pitcher Lisa Geer threw for all eight innings and allowed only four hits while striking out three. The only run she allowed was on a solo homerun to Bartholomew.
Loren Anguiano went 1-for-2 and registered both of the Red Storm’s RBIs.