FORT MYERS, Fla. – University of Saint Joseph freshman Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) had a walk-off, RBI-single to cap a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning in her first collegiate game to help the Blue Jays to a 2-1 victory over Northland College Saturday in the 2016 season opener at the CenturyLink Sports Complex.
The game was the first of ten to be played by the Blue Jays in six days in Florida as part of the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic. USJ dropped an 11-8 eight-inning game to Brockport in the late game Saturday.
Patti Sciglimpaglia (Norwalk, Conn.) struck out 13 in a complete game effort to get the win against Northland. She allowed two hits, three walks and an unearned run in the first inning.
Held to two hits through six innings, USJ used three seventh-inning hits and a walk to score both its runs in the seventh. Ashley Tucker (Middletown, Conn.) led off with a single and pinch-runner Alicia McWeeney (Wolcott, Conn.) advanced to second on a walk to Emily Vigue (Lebanon, Conn.) After a wild pitch, Rachel Dube (Southington, Conn.) followed with her first collegiate hit, an RBI-single to right to score McWeeney to tie the score and send pinch-runner Janai Davis (Hartford, Conn.) to third. With one out, Russo lined the final hit through a drawn-in infield and into short center field to bring home Davis with the winning run.
USJ again rallied in the bottom of the seventh, this time for a run to force extra innings. With the Blue Jays down to their last out, Haley McCall (Lebanon, Conn.) singled home Klimaszewski to tie the score, but the potential winning run was thrown out at the plate on the play and Brockport went on to score four times with two out in the top of the eighth inning. McCall also made the defensive play of the day in the second inning in center field, leaping at the fence to take away a would-be three-run homer from Brockport's Delaney Buckley before Brockport would eventually strand the two runners.
USJ returns to action, Sat. March 14 against Edgewood (9 a.m.) and Nichols (11 a.m.) in Naples, Fla.