FORT MYERS, Fla. – University of Saint Joseph freshman Ashley Rzeszewski (Eynon, Pa.) had a go-ahead single in the eighth inning and senior Patti Sciglimpaglia (Norwalk, Conn.) earned her fifth pitching victory in six days as the USJ softball team defeated Wisconsin-Superior 5-4 Thursday at the CenturyLink Complex to conclude its annual spring straining trip.
USJ, which had dropped a 6-4 game earlier in the day to Curry College, finished 6-4 on the trip.
Sarah Ercoli (Watertown, Conn.), Ashley Tucker (Middletown, Conn.), Morgan Skoly (Vernon, Conn.) and Sciglimpaglia all had two hits apiece for the Blue Jays against Wisconsin-Superior (10-6). USJ went up 2-0 in the top of the first inning. Ercoli singled, Patti Sciglimpaglia doubled and they scored on RBI-singles from Mary Sciglimpaglia (Norwalk, Conn.) and Tucker. St. Joseph pushed the lead to 3-0 in the second when Skoly tripled down the left field line and Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) had an RBI-single to right. The margin went to 4-0 in the sixth when pinch-runner Alicia McWeeney (Wolcott, Conn.) scored on an error.
USJ seemed poised to wrap up a quick win, but three seventh-inning errors by the Blue Jays and one double led to four Wisconsin-Superior runs and forced extra innings. In the top of the eighth, pinch-runner Emily Ference (Berlin, Conn.) started the inning at second base via the international tie-breaker rule. Rachel Dube (Southington, Conn.) bunted Ference to third and with two out, Rzeszewski ripped a single down the left field line to score Ference with the eventual winning run.
In the bottom of the eighth, Michalya Grahek (Forest Lake, Minn.) was placed at second for Wisconsin-Superior and went to third on a successful sacrifice bunt. But Patti Sciglimpaglia caught a pop out and induced a ground out to Russo at second base to end things. Sciglimpaglia allowed six hits, four unearned runs, walked one and struck out four.
Against Curry, Skoly and Kara Klimaszewski (Naugatuck, Conn.) had two hits each for USJ. The Blue Jays fell behind 4-0 before rallying to tie the score. In the third inning, Patti Sciglimpaglia had an RBI-single; in the fifth, Skoly scored on an error and Mary Sciglimpaglia had an RBI-single; and, in the sixth, Ashley Tucker had an RBI-single to make it 4-4. But Curry (2-4) scored twice in the top of the seventh and USJ stranded two runners in the bottom half.
USJ is scheduled to make its northern debut Tuesday, March 22 with a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Elms. The Blue Jays are slated to play their home opener Tuesday, March 29 against Bay Path in a 3 p.m. doubleheader.
On the trip: Skoly batted .471 (8-for-17), Patti Sciglimpaglia (14-for-35) and Rzeszewski (6-for-15) both hit .400 and Mary Sciglimpaglia hit .382 (13-for-34) . . . Patti Sciglimpaglia, Russo and Ercoli each scored a team-high six runs . . . "The twins" Mary (seven) and Patti (six) led the team in RBI . . . On the mound, Patti went 5-0 with five complete game wins. In 36 innings, she allowed 21 hits (20 singles, 1 double), 10 walks and struck out 36. She allowed two earned runs for a 0.39 ERA . . . USJ won eight consecutive coin flips to win the right to be home team from games two through nine, which has a 1 in 256 chance of happening.