KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Suffolk softball held its composure down the stretch to keep the experienced Lynx of Rhodes from coming back and spoiling the Rams' campaign debut as the blue-and-gold came out in front, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Fortune Road at THE Spring Games.
SCORE: Suffolk 4 | Rhodes 3
RECORDS: Suffolk (1-0) | Rhodes (14-5)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk's bats woke up early, but remained scoreless until the third. With one out Cailtin Murphy drew a walk before Grace Boehler placed a bunt in the perfect spot to advance the freshman to third. Jaclyn Flint's single up to second scored the runner to give the Rams' an early edge.
Rhodes responded in the home half of the fourth, but they didn't even score for along long as Suffolk rallied in the fifth. Flint started things with a single up the middle before the Lynx went into their bull pen, bringing A Pons into pitch for B Maniscalc. The fresh arm was no match for Brook Cloak and AshleyZulla, who pieced together back-to-back base hits. Zulla's connection flustered Rhodes' defense and allowed Flint to bring the go-ahead run around. During Kelly Keane's at bat Cloak jumped on a passed ball, quite literally, as the freshman designated player made a dive into home plate to push Suffolk's lead to two, 3-1.
The Lynx got one run back in the bottom of the fifth to keep things interesting, 3-2.
Cloak came up big once again in the sixth for Suffolk when she barreled a single through the right side to score Murphy, who started things off with a base hit of her own, to add a run back to the Rams' lead, 4-2.
Once again Rhodes had an answer for Suffolk's run with one of its own to trim the distance back to one in the sixth.
Suffolk was unable to add cushion to its advance in the seventh, which let the Lynx look for the walk off. With the tying run on second, the winning run at the plate and two outs on the board shortstop Riley Mulligan made the play to first baseman Keane for the final out of the day to secure the victory.
- Freshman Kennedy Reyes made the most of her collegiate debut in the circle. The twirler went 5.2 innings in which she allowed three runs (two earned), on seven hits and three walks and sat down three hits.
- Flint picked up the save with a scoreless, one-hit performance over the final 1.1 frames.
- Abby Pons suffered the setback after allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk.
- Bri Maniscalco worked the final three frames in which she let up two runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk to go with three Ks.
- Cloak's bat had a day, going 4-for-4, with one RBI and one run.
- Murphy also had a multi-hit outing with a 2-for-3, two-run performance.
- Flint finished with two hits, one RBI and one run scored.
- Boehler registered a 2-for-4 effort as well.
- Zulla rounded out the Rams with hits with one to her credit to go with one RBI.
- Overall, Suffolk had 11 hits off five bats.
- Suffolk and Rhodes met for the first time.
- The Rams moved to 8-24 on opening day and 3-4 on day one in the Jaclyn Davis' era.
- Alexis Bonilla, Karina Bua, Cloak, Mulligan and Reyes each made their collegiate debuts.
Suffolk concludes day one action tonight when it takes on Plymouth State at 5 p.m.