Miami Softball Knocked Out of NIST

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March 9, 2002

Box Score

Pleasanton, Calif. -- Miami's softball team bowed out of the National Invitational Softball Tournament on the second day of competition Saturday after a 3-0 loss to Syracuse and a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Santa Clara. The RedHawks went 1-4 overall at the NIST.

The game against the Orangewomen was characterized by a number of timely defensive plays, as well as some untimely hitting, by both teams.

In the second, Poggendorf wriggled out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam. After junior first baseman Angie Gerber (La Salle, Mich/Mason) tagged out Taylor Peterson trying to score from third on a wild pitch, Poggedorf struck out Nikki Lincoln looking, then got Tara DiMaggio to fly to right. Sophomore Maggie Cousins (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville South) made a sprawling catch on the third out to atone for an error earlier in the inning.

Miami (3-12) escaped from a potentially dangerous situation in the third with more stellar defense. With one out and runners on first and second, Cheryl Julicher hit a scorcher up the middle that was smothered by sophomore shortstop Jacque Molinaro (Follinsbee, W.VA./Brooke), who flipped it to sophomore second baseman Jessica Zogaib (Temperance, Mich./Bedford) for the force out. Peterson then popped out to Molinaro to end the frame.

The RedHawks had a prime scoring opportunity in the fourth, when they loaded the bases with no outs, but they came away with nothing after a foul out, pop-up and groundout. The Orangewomen threatened in the bottom of the inning as Tanya Rose led off with a double and was sacrificed to third, but Poggendorf threw her out at home when Lincoln tried to bunt her in.

The deadlock was broken in the fifth when, with two outs, Julicher doubled in Kristen Collins from first.

Miami tried to mount one last rally in the sixth, putting runners on second and third with two outs, but Molinaro grounded out to the pitcher.

Syracuse added some insurance in the home half of the sixth. With second and third, pinch-hitter Cortney Nickerson hit a grounder to Zogaib at second. Her throw home beat the runner - Rose - trying to score, but Rose knocked the ball out of Kucera's glove and to the backstop, allowing pinch-runner Becky Snyder to come around from second.

The two teams combined to strand 16 runners in the game.

Gerber went 2-for-2 for the RedHawks, while the Orangewomen's Collins was a sterling 4-for-4. Rose also was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3.

With the loss, Poggendorf dropped to 3-5 on the year. Syracuse starter Tara DiMaggio struck out six and walked none in hurling a complete game six-hitter.

With elimination staring them in the face, Miami committed three errors against Santa Clara and mustered only three hits off of starter Kelley Johnson.

The Broncos put a run on the board in the third on Jenn Ponzo's RBI hit, then went up 3-0 the following inning on Coresta Salas' two-run single. Santa Clara added another one in the fifth when Tracie Hall, who doubled to lead off the inning, scored on a wild pitch.

Salas went 3-for-4 in the game.

For the tournament, Gerber led Miami at the plate, hitting at a .357 (5-for-14) clip. Poggendorf sparkled on the mound, going 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA. She struck out 14 batters and walked just three in the four games in which she appeared.

The RedHawks reunite with the Orangewomen March 12 at 3 p.m. for a doubleheader in Palo Alto, Calif.