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March 27th, 2013

Army softball team takes second weekend sweep

Sophomore Alex Gaff hit her first home run of the year in the second game.

LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ - Army banged out a season-high 18 hits in an 11-3 six-inning blasting in the first game, and came-from-behind with a 4-2 win in the nightcap to complete its sweep of Rider in a non-league softball doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Herb and Joan Young Field.

Juniors April Ortenzo and Marina Northup drove in three runs in the opener, and sophomore Alex Gaff knocked in three runs with her first home run in the nightcap.

Army (11-10) stretched its win streak to five following its second straight sweep over the weekend as the Black Knights exploded for 56 hits and 33 runs in four games while holding their opponents to 15 hits and six runs.

Sophomore Morgan Lashley was the pitcher of record in both wins, going the distance in the nightcap and sharing the first-game win with freshman Braetana Roy, who pitched the final two innings.

Ortenzo was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored and Northup was 3-for-4 with a run and three RBI in the first game. The Black Knights exploded for five runs in the fifth inning to stretch their 5-0 lead to a 10-0 lead.

Army took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning of the opener on Ortenzo’s solo blast. Army plated three runs in the third inning on back-to-back RBI doubles. Senior Alex Reynolds’ two-bagger drove in freshman Kasey McCravey, who drew a walk, and she came home on Northup’s double. Northup moved up a base on Ali Cleinmark’s single and scored on the left fielder’s error.

Northup singled home a run in the fourth as Army stretched its lead to 5-0, then put five more runs on the board in the fifth inning in sprinting out to a 10-0 advantage on RBI singles by Amanda Nguyen, Ortenzo and Northup, a sacrifice fly by McCravey with another crossing on an error.

Lashley, who scattered two hits, struck out two and walked one over four innings to record the win, turned over the circle to Roy. Rider avoided the shutout in the home half of the fifth on Dana Sensi’s three-run homer. Roy, who yielded two hits, retired the final four batters she faced.

Nguyen, Ortenzo, Northup and Cleinmark had three hits each along with two by freshman Christian McKone as the Black Knights raked Krista Morrone (3-10) for 18 hits in breaking the former mark of 17 set against Wagner in a 12-6 win on March 11th.

In the nightcap, Rider pitcher Ali Meagher (0-5) kept Army off the scoreboard over the first three innings before the Black Knights scored the first run in the top of the fourth inning. Gaff, who was hit by a pitch, gave way to pinch runner Savanna Aversa. She moved around on a walk to Cleinmark and a sacrifice bunt by Paige Vallejos, setting the stage for Nguyen who drove her in with a single up the middle to pull ahead 1-0.

Rider took a 2-1 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Army went back in front in the top of the fifth inning on Gaff’s first-career home run. McCravey and Reynolds, who singled, were beneficiaries of her shot as Black Knights pulled ahead 4-2.

Lashley protected Army’s two-run lead as she mowed down 10 straight batters en route to recording her 10th win of the season and career 43rd.

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