KENOSHA, Wisconsin – Freshman Lorrin Pondo struck out 11 in a game-one shutout and teamed with junior Liz Gale for another 11 Ks in game two as the MSOE softball team swept Carthage, 4-0 and 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Carthage Softball Field.
The Raiders (9-3) were playing their first games since opening the season in Florida three weeks ago and held off the Red Women (7-9) over 14 innings.
Pondo (6-3) continually danced around trouble for her second shutout of the season in game one, scattering five hits, three walks, and three hit batters through seven innings. She stranded the bases loaded in the second and third innings and stranded runners in scoring position in each of the first four frames.
A caught stealing erased the lone base runner in the fifth inning and she struck out the side in the sixth. The Red Women put runners on first and second in their last at-bats but Pondo got back-to-back shutouts to close out the game.
At the plate, MSOE got off to a slow start with just one hit through four innings before getting on the scoreboard in the fifth. Sophomore Riley Rossbach drew a pinch-hit walk to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, junior Rachel Ziemba plated the run with a single up the middle.
Senior Caitlyn Moran drove in another run in the sixth inning, bringing in junior Emily Snow after a single and sac bunt led off the inning. The Red & White then drove in two more insurance runs in the seventh inning. Freshman Alyssa Baffin singled and Ziemba walked. A pair of wild pitched brought Baffin around to score and Snow drove in Ziemba with a double.
Snow and Ziemba finished with two hits each. Ziemba stole two bases in the game.
The offense picked right up where it left off in game two, scoring two times in the first inning. Sophomore Kiki Davis started the rally with a one-out single and Snow hit another double. A passed ball allowed Davis to score and Snow made it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Amanda Manssen.
Carthage scored its first run of the day in the bottom half of the frame but the Raiders canceled that out by capitalizing on an error to bring a walk around to score from first base. The Red Women then pulled within 4-2 on a home run in their half of the second inning.
The teams traded runs again in the fourth inning, as an error and passed ball put a runner on third base with no outs for MSOE in the top half of the inning. Sophomore Kim White then drove in the eventual game-winner with a single through the right side.
A lead-off double looked threatening in the CC fourth inning. Gale came back to strike out the next two batters before it came in to score on a two-out single up the middle. Gale then came back to pick up her third strikeout of the frame to end the threat.
Gale (3-0) worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning and Pondo came on to throw two perfect innings of relief. Gale picked up her third win of the season with 5.0 innings of work. She scattered four hits and struck out eight. Pondo fanned three hitters to collect her second save of the season.
The Raiders return to the field Sunday, hosting Beloit in their home-opener at MSOE Athletic Field. Game one starts at noon.