KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Junior Brianna Baglino (Howard Beach, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) and freshman Alexis Buchanan (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta) hit successfully in both games and the Bears received a strong relief outing from freshman Jessica Mecham (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills) but the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) opened their 2019 campaign at The Spring Games with an 8-0 loss to Trine University (6-2) and an 8-3 defeat to Widener University (4-2) on Thursday afternoon.
Game 1: Trine 8, St. Joseph's 0 (5 inn)
The Thunder struck early opening the game with a leadoff homer off the bat of Makenna Hartline, but the Bears would hold tight with Victoria Mahoney (Allenwood, N.J./Saint John Vianney) striking out the next two batters to keep the deficit at one. Jessica Vento (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) drew a one-out walk in the bottom half of the inning, but was left standing at first in a scoreless frame.
Mahoney retired the first two batters of the second before Trine ballooned the lead with three unearned runs as two Bear miscues helped open up the frame. Mahoney sat the first two batters down in the third again but Trine put up a pair with a two-out rally highlighted by a Claire Ryan two-run homer to push the lead to 6-0.
The Bears threatened in the home half of the third putting two runners on following a Brianna Baglino (Howard Beach, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) single to second and a Vento walk. With runners on first and second, freshman Alexis Buchanan (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta) ripped a line drive to center field, cementing her first collegiate hit. Baglino rounded third base looking to get SJC on the board but was tagged out at home plate.
After a scoreless fourth, Trine opened the fifth with back-to-back solo blasts to reach the eight-run threshold. The Bears would put a couple of players on base in the bottom of the fifth, aided by a pair of Trine errors, but couldn't push anyone across trying to extend the game.
Mahoney took the loss in the circle striking out six, giving up eight runs (five earned) on six hits against the 2018 NCAA Tournament team. Buchanan and Baglino collected the lone hits for the offense.
Game 2: Widener 8, St. Joseph's 3
Batting as the road team, Baglino started the game off with a single as the SJC bats came alive early. Baglino was sacrificed to second and Buchanan knocked an opposite-field single to put runners at the corners and she later stole second to put two in scoring position. Freshmen Vivian Tomovich (San Diego, Calif./Serra) and Ashleigh Hartwig (Santee, Calif./West Hills) both delivered back-to-back run-scoring singles—their first collegiate hits—that highlighted a three-run, four-hit frame.
Widener answered back in the bottom of the first with swift two runs, with only one being earned, to cut the Bears' lead to 3-2.
A scoreless top of the second inning by St. Joseph's gave way for Widener to get two people on base before a bases-clearing triple which helped the Pride grab a 4-3 lead, which they wouldn't relinquish.
The Pride widened their lead to 8-3 putting up four in the fourth. After knocking five hits in the first two innings, the Bears bats were silenced as they could only muster a pair of walks over the final five innings unable to cut into the deficit.
Junior Madison Erhardt (Baltimore, Md./Dulaney) was stuck with the loss striking out one in three innings of work. Freshman Jessica Mecham (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills) had a strong outing in relief in her first collegiate appearance, retiring all nine batters she faced in three scoreless innings.
Bears rookies accounted for four of the five hits in game two—Buchanan, Tomovich, Hartwig, and Jaden Mecham (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills)—with Tomovich and Hartwig collecting the lone RBI.
For the Bears
Next Up for the Bears
St. Joseph's returns for two more games tomorrow (Mar. 8) in Florida, facing Misericordia University (6-2) at 9:45 am, followed by a matchup with Penn State-New Kensington (0-4) at noon.