WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Saint Joseph softball team set a school record by winning its 13th consecutive game as the Blue Jays swept Emmanuel College Friday in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference doubleheader.
USJ won by scores of 2-1 and 10-3. The Blue Jays improved to 18-4 overall and remained in first place in the GNAC as the lone unbeaten team in conference play at 8-0. Emmanuel is 13-12 overall and 5-5 in the GNAC.
The Blue Jays tied the school record in the opener with win No. 12 in a row, then broke it with the second-game win. The previous record of 12 in a row had been set April 7-17, 2013.
USJ had to rally in the opener and made the most of three hits. Catherine Davis (Wethersfield, Conn.) drew a walk to start the game for Emmanuel, advanced on a ground out and scored on a single up the middle by Ashley Skey (Brookline, H.H.)
Emmanuel hung onto the 1-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth as Saints pitcher Jill Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.) did not allow a hit until Ashley Tucker (Middletown, Conn.) singled with one out in the fifth. Morgan Skoly (Vernon, Conn.) doubled to short left field to start the USJ sixth and Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) walked with Skoly taking third on a wild pitch on ball four. Haley McCall (Lebanon, Conn.) forced Russo at second, but Skoly came in from third to tie the score. McCall went to second on an infield error and with two out, Mary Sciglimpaglia (Norwalk, Conn.) doubled to center to score McCall with the game-winning run.
Davis led off the Emmanuel seventh with a double to right field, but was left there as USJ pitcher Patti Sciglimpaglia (Norwalk, Conn.) got the next three batters out, one on a sensational play by Kara Klimaszewski at third who laid out to stop a hard grounder and got up to throw the batter out and keep the runner at second.
Sciglimpaglia allowed six hits and two walks and struck out seven to improve to 11-0 on the mound. Kilcoyne allowed three hits, one earned run, walked two and struck out eight.
The Blue Jays had an easier time in the second game. It started much as the first game had with a Skey base hit scoring Davis, who had singled, to stake the Saints to a 1-0, first-inning lead. But USJ scored four times in the third inning and six more in the fourth.
Sarah Ercoli (Plainville, Conn.) and Klimaszewski each had three hits in the game for St. Joseph. Patti Sciglimpaglia had two hits and two RBI and Tucker also drove in two. Danielle Circosta (Feeding Hills, Mass.) improved to 7-2 with a complete game win.
Davis had three hits for the Saints, Skey had two hits and two RBI and Abbey Alexiades (Kingston, Mass.) had two hits and an RBI.
USJ hosts Lasell in a noon GNAC doubleheader, Saturday, April 16. Emmanuel hosts Mount Ida, also in a GNAC twinbill Saturday at noon.