Johnnies struggle to earn their spots

After dropping the first two games of a weekend series with Pittsburgh, the St. John’s softball team managed to pull out a 6-0 victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Storm had a four-run fourth inning and also received a dominant pitching performance from junior Kat Lawrence, who silenced the Pittsburgh bats by allowing just four hits while striking out four in her complete-game effort.

“Every day is a new day, and that was kind of our focus today,” said Head Coach Amy Kvilhaug. “I challenged the group to show me what they’re made of and show me what kind of character they have and they were able to come out and perform.”

Kacee Cox went 2-for-4 with three RBI, while Julia Sanchez went 2-for-3. Amber Curry and Dominique Marcelino each went 1-for-3 with one RBI each.

In the fourth inning, the Red Storm broke the game wide open. Already leading 2-0, the Red Storm’s Marcelino hit an RBI double to right center field, which scored Kristi Cady.

Jenna Berger would then reach base on an error by Pittsburgh third baseman Megan Livesey. She committed a second error when Berger stole second, allowing Marcelino to score from third to give the Red Storm a 4-0 lead. Curry and Cox both later drove in runs to make it a 6-0 game.

“Our offense did what they needed to do, and we took advantage of the mistakes that Pittsburgh made,” said Kvilhaug.

Lawrence went on to retire six consecutive batters in the fourth and fifth innings. She allowed two hits in the sixth before ending the game by retiring the side in order in the seventh, as she picked up her tenth victory of the season.

“She started out the day a little shaky,” Kvilhaug said.

“She threw 54 pitches in 2 1/3 innings. We were a bit concerned as to whether she would fatigue, or they would see more pitches where they’d have success. She was a little more economical as the game went on.”

The Red Storm improved their overall record to 15-23, and their Big East record to 4-8.

Pittsburgh 7, St. John’s 2 St. John’s took an early 2-0 lead in the third inning, but Pitt tied the game in the bottom frame and then scored five runs in the fourth to take the first game of the series.

Red Storm pitcher Linzee Sumrall lasted just 3 1/3 innings and dropped to 5-13 on the
season as she gave up seven runs (two earned). Montez had two hits and an RBI, while Curry and Sanchez each had a hit and scored a run.

Pittsburgh 7, St. John’s 2
Pittsburgh took an early 3-0 lead in the second inning, before breaking it open with a five-run fifth inning, as St. John’s lost the second game of the series 7-2.

Lawrence lasted 4 1/3 innings and struck out four batters but allowed seven runs (six earned), dropping her seventh loss of the season.

Stacia Dopudja went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI.