TUCSON -- Freshman lefty Jacky Arndt (Chelsmford, MA) completed an overwhelming four-inning strikeout performance in relief by stranding the tying run on base in the bottom of the eighth inning with her 11th punchout as the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team stopped a three-game losing streak with a 9-8 victory over Stevens Tech Thursday afternoon.
In gaining her first career relief win, Arndt (2-1) got 11 of 12 outs via strikeout, with only a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eight spoiling the perfect effort.
Senior catcher Kristyn Ryan (Barkhamsted) had three hits and drove in four runs for Eastern, senior leadoff hitter Samantha Bardos (Norwalk) had three hits, scored three runs and drove in one and senior first baseman Gina Georgetti (Milford) had two hits and two RBI.
Ryan drove in the tying run in the top of the seventh with a leadoff home run -- her second of the season and seventh of her career – then knocked in the go-ahead runs in a three-run eighth with a two-run single, which followed an RBI double by Georgetti that made it 9-6.
With a three-run cushion and a runner on second (utilizing the international tie-breaker rule), Arndt allowed an RBI double to the first batter she faced in the bottom of the eighth. After getting a strikeout for the first out, Arndt was touched for a single that put the tying runs aboard. A sacrifice fly made it 9-8 before Arndt fanned No. 8 hitter Katherine Tirabassi for the second time to end the game.
Trailing 2-1, Eastern scored three runs in the second to take a 4-2 lead before the Ducks knocked out freshman lefty starter Morgan Sanson (Thomaston) with a two-run fourth, then moved out to a 6-5 lead with two more in the fifth that ended relief pitcher Samantha Valentine's (Ridge, NY) afternoon.
University of Puget Sound 11, Eastern Conn. 6
In the second game of the day, the Warriors (2-6) climbed out of an early three-run hole with three runs in the bottom of the third inning, but Puget Sound (10-7) responded with the go-ahead run in the fifth on an infield error and tacked on two more in the sixth and two in the seven.
Trailing 6-3, Eastern tied the game with three runs in the third on a single by senior first baseman Gina Georgetti (Milford), wild pitch, infield error and RBI ground ball by freshman Megan Hodgdon (Cheshire). An infield error allowed the Loggers to score the go-ahead run for a 7-6 lead in the fifth.
Eastern freshman Haleigh Cardello (Litchfield, NH) replaced senior righty starter Samantha Valentine (Ridge, NY) with the Warriors trailing by three after two innings and the righty pitched into the sixth in recording her first loss in her first decision.
Senior Kristyn Ryan (Barkhamsted) and Georgetti each had two of Eastern's six hits. Three Eastern pitchers surrendered 13 hits.
Eastern closes out its spring trip Friday, facing Dickinson College at noon EDT and Hamline University at 2 p.m. EDT.