MOON TOWNSHIP– On a clear and sunny Tuesday afternoon, the Robert Morris softball team (11-26, NEC 3-3) took on Niagara (5-22, MAAC 3-5) in a doubleheader. This resulted in a 6-5 loss, and a 2-0 shutout win for the Colonials.
Game one started off slower than most, as both teams dealt with a pitching duel that consisted of four combined hits for three combined runs until the sixth inning. The sixth inning saw Niagara jump ahead due to a late-game collapse by the Colonials; walking two batters in a row to start the inning, and having those runners advance on errors and wild pitches.
When the smoke and dust finally settled, the Colonials found themselves in a hole down 6-1. Nonetheless, the Colonials rallied right back at the Purple Eagles with three runs on three hits with the help of three Niagara errors to tighten the score at 6-4. The top of the seventh inning was scoreless for Niagara which set up Robert Morris for more late game heroics.
Taryn Miller, who hit a go-ahead home run earlier in the third inning, was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Rumblings of a walk-off were being uttered by fans in attendance. Sadly, the Colonials could only advance one run home before the final out was made at third base as Niagara edged out a close victory.
Game two saw Kaitlyn Ellzy get the shutout win for the Colonials, pitching all seven innings and only allowing three hits total. The two and only runs scored in the game came in the second inning when Kristyna Mala reached on an error to bring Taylor Bartlow home from second, and the Colonials jumped out to an early 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, Erika Bell singled to left field to bring Brianna Bunner in to score. This increased the lead to 2-0. That score would hold and end up being the final score, thanks to Ellzy’s strong outing backed by some opportunistic hitting. Ellzy was efficient and able to get outs when needed as Niagara left only five runners on base in the second installment of this doubleheader.
Robert Morris will take on Youngstown State on Wednesday at 3:00 in another doubleheader as they come down to the last eight matchups of the season.