The Carthage softball team continued its season-opening trip to The Spring Games on Wednesday with a two-game split at the Osceola Softball Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.
After starting the day with a 9-0 blanking of Penn State-Brandywine, the Reds dropped a 4-1 decision to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Carthage (3-3) plays a pair of games in Florida today and two more Friday to close out the trip.
Leadoff hitter Alexandra Millett had a huge game against PSU-Brandywine on Wednesday, going 4-for-4 with a stolen base, four runs and two RBI.
Stefanie Guercio had a double and two RBI and picked up the win in the circle, improving to 2-1 with four innings of one-hit ball. She walked three and struck out six.
Donna Stevens doubled, scored and drove in a run, Kelsey Domagala ripped a pair of doubles and drove in two and Bradford graduate Ellie Bernero worked a scoreless inning to close out the game.
The Reds were limited to seven hits against RPI, as Millett and Naomi Alonzo each had two. Alonzo (0-1) went the distance, allowing 10 hits and four runs (all earned) with two walks and three strikeouts over her seven innings.
Carthage tallied a run in the bottom of the sixth to get within 2-1, but RPI scored two insurance runs in the top of the seventh.
CCIW honors Guercio
Guercio, a junior pitcher, was named the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Player of the Week on Tuesday.
Guercio had a 1.34 ERA with 36 strikeouts and one save for the Reds to start the team’s trip to Florida. She pitched a two-hitter and struck out 16 in Carthage’s 1-0 win over Trine on Sunday. Later in the day, Guercio earned the save in a 6-3 victory over Wartburg after striking out seven over the final 22/3 innings.
Guercio also pitched six innings in the Reds’ 3-1 loss to Concordia Moorhead on Monday, allowing three earned runs and striking out 13.
Carthage 3, Cardinal Stritch 2
The Red Men, the top-ranked team in the nation in the latest NCAA Division III coaches poll, had a non-conference scare at Tarble Arena on Wednesday night.
But Carthage pulled through to win its eighth straight match and improve to 15-1.
It was a narrow escape in the fifth set, as the Red Men won the match by game scores of 22-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-17, 16-14. With the deciding set tied 14-14, Carthage got the final two points on a service error and an attack error by Cardinal Stritch (6-11).
Thomas Bryce led the Red Men with 14 kills and 15 digs, Matt Slivinski notched 10 kills and seven digs, Parker Connolly had nine kills and two blocks and Mike Motyka had a team-high 26 assists.
Sophomore libero Blake Arnold, a Tremper graduate, had a team-high three aces to go with 10 digs for Carthage.