Softball coach Kvilhaug says team’s recent slide is not a major concern

Though the St. John’s softball team finished last week with a 2-3 record after splitting series with South Florida and Seton Hall and falling to Long Island University, head coach Amy Kvilhaug doesn’t think the recent slide is a cause for concern.

“I thought we had a lot of good things come out of the week,” Kvilhaug said.

“We split two Big East doubleheaders, one on the road. I don’t think we’re really off-track.”

After dropping an extra-inning game with LIU on Thursday, St. John’s returned home Saturday to take on defending the Big East Champions, South Florida.

The Bulls took the first game in convincing fashion, tapping sophomore starter Linzee Sumrall for seven runs, four of which were unearned. Sumrall pitched a complete game for St. John’s while striking out seven batters.

South Florida designated hitter Jojo Medina was a constant problem for Sumrall, homering twice and earning a walk.

A late rally by the Johnnies, which included runs by senior Melissa Pilley and freshman Shannan Valentin, fell short when Bulls reliever Brittany Bowles took the circle and closed out the 7-2 Bulls win.

Sophomore Kat Lawrence took the mound in the second game and had little trouble with the Bulls’ batters. Lawrence pitched a complete game shutout, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out two.

Singles by senior Roxy Struble and freshman Julia Sanchez drove in runs and provided all the run support Lawrence would need in the Storm’s 2-0 victory.

The win was her fourth of the season.
“Kat is starting to come on at the right time,” Kvilhaug said. “She’s working on every aspect of the game.”The Blackbirds of LIU defeated the Red Storm 3-2 Wednesday on an eighth-inning double by Mariesha Marker that scored outfielder Lauren Kemp.

Sumrall got the nod in the first game of a road doubleheader aginst Seton Hall
Thursday and allowed eleven runs in the 12-7 loss.

St. John’s characteristic resiliency was a big factor in the second game, as six players had at least one hit and Harris and Berger led the scoring with their second multi-RBI games of the day. Lawrence struck out 13 in a no-hitter.

“It’s a combination of working on my pitch count and hitting my spots,” said Lawrence of her stingy performances.

She has allowed just four runs in her last 33 innings pitched.