Softball prospers during extended homestand

The St. John’s softball team entered last week with a 9-12 record and a tough stretch of three double-headers ahead.

But after relying on its pitching and some key offensive performances, the Red Storm surrendered only one game of the six.

After sweeping Rider last Wednesday and a Saturday split with Louisville, the Johnnies rounded out the weekend with a Sunday sweep of the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Pittsburgh did not have a chance, as Sophomore pitcher Linzee Sumrall gave the Panthers no chance in the first game, allowing two runs in the third before settling down for a 3-2 victory.

Sophomore catcher Kacee Cox’s first-inning three-run home run off Pitsburgh’s Alyssa O’Connell was all the Storm needed.

Sophomore pitcher Kat Lawrence was stingy and did not allow a hit until the fifth or a run until the sixth.

“Our pitching has been solid,” head coach Amy Kvilhaug said.
“[Lawrence and Sumrall] have been stepping up and I think they’ve been doing a phenomenal job.”

Senior slugger Roxy Struble capped off a 9-for-16 week with a home run off the scoreboard in the late game. The Red Storm would go on to win 2-1.

Struble has hit safely in nine of her last 10 games, and boasted a .563 average last week.

“It’s my last year and I’m not taking any prisoners,” she said. “I’m going to end on a good note.”

After tallying two home runs and six RBIs last week, Struble earned Big East Honor Roll recognition.

“It’s more about my team than what I’m doing individually,” she said. “As long as my team is doing well that’s all that matters to me.”

The Red Storm got their first opportunity to capitalize on home-field advantage within the Big East on Saturday when No. 16 Louisville came to Queens.

“We didn’t really approach it any differently than any other team,” said Kvilhaug in regards to playing a ranked opponent.

In the first game, Sumrall’s start was spoiled by two first-inning runs and a 3-1 loss, but she redeemed herself in the latter game, earning the save with 2-3 of an inning with a strikeout in relief of Lawrence.

The Red Storm would go on to win 5-4 in the second game relying on a 4-for-4 performance by infielder Stacia Dopudja.
Despite surrendering the lead early in both games, St. John’s swept the Rider Broncos.

St. John’s was able to battle back by a grand slam by Cox in the first and a strong pitching performance by Lawrence in
the second.

The Red Storm outscored Rider 12-5 in the series.