BRANDYWINE HUNDRED – Julia Casson went the distance, allowing just three hits and striking out nine as St. Elizabeth found the win column for the first time this season with a 13-1 five-inning decision over Brandywine in nonconference softball March 30. Claudia Roncone had two hits, drove in four runs and scored three times to lead the Vikings’ offense.
St. Elizabeth wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard. Marissa Kegelman singled to open the game, taking second on a fielding error. One out later, Roncone doubled over the head of the Bulldogs’ centerfielder, scoring Kegelman. Roncone took third on the throw and scored on another error.
The Vikings added four more in the second, when they sent 10 batters to the plate. All of the runs scored with two outs. Alexa Cruz walked and, after a strikeout, Peyton McGee reached on an error, allowing Cruz to reach third. Brandywine pitcher Chelsea Gbemudu picked up a strikeout looking, but that third out proved elusive.
Miranda Wohner walked to load the bases, and Roncone followed with a two-run single to center. The throw home was cut off, but an attempt to get Wohner at third went into left field, and Wohner came home. Roncone scored on a single by Casson for the inning’s fourth run. Two more walks loaded the bases again, but St. Elizabeth was unable to add to the lead.
The third inning began with the first three Vikings reaching base, and Wohner brought two of them home with a double, but Kegelman was thrown out trying to make it three. Wohner advanced to third on the play, and a fielder’s choice ground ball by Roncone scored Wohner.
Casson, meanwhile, was nearly unhittable. She sailed through the first three innings without allowing a base runner, and her fielders were in the right place all afternoon. Second baseman Ashlynn Kelleher was particularly effective, running down three popups, including one in the first that ended with her tumbling to the ground.
Ironically, in the fourth inning, the only one in which Brandywine retired the Vikings in order, the Bulldogs found their hitting touch. Back-to-back infield singles by Aleigha Miller and Kayla Blythe put runners at first and second, and, with one out, Moira Flowers singled into right field to plate Miller. Kelleher prevented further damage with a nice over-the-shoulder catch for out number two, and Casson ended the inning with a strikeout.
St. E’s scored four more in the fifth, and after Casson retired the Bulldogs in order in the bottom of the frame, the chilly afternoon came to an end.
Wohner and McGee both reached base and scored three times for the Vikings (1-2), are back on the diamond on Monday at 3:45 p.m. at Dickinson. Brandywine (0-2) is also on the road on Monday, meeting district rival Mount Pleasant at 3:45 p.m.