Softball walks off with a doubleheader sweep; improves to 10-2

Emily Fraser '20 (Josh McKee photo)
Emily Fraser '20 (Josh McKee photo)

Hamilton College's Emily Fraser '20 hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning and lifted the Continentals to a 7-6 win over SUNY Plattsburgh that completed Hamilton's perfect Saturday at Osceola County Softball Complex in Kissimmee, Florida.

Hamilton (10-2 overall) defeated Albright College 14-2 in five innings in its first game of the day. The Continentals face NESCAC East Division opponent Colby College on Sunday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m. followed by an 11:45 a.m. game against Lewis & Clark College. Both games will be played at Hancock Park in Clermont, Florida.

Game Two: Hamilton 7, Plattsburgh 6

With a one-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh, Ashleah Yzaguirre '19 started the inning with a double to right center, and Fraser ripped a line drive on a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left-center field to win the game.

The Plattsburgh Cardinals (6-8) tallied seven of their 11 hits in the first three innings and jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Hamilton roared back with four runs on five hits and one walk in the bottom of the third.

Courtney Cardea '22 started the comeback with a one-out single to left field and Caroline Chivily '19 immediately followed with a single up the middle. Caitlin Berreitter '20 took four straight balls to load the bases and Liz Brautigam '19 knocked a two-run single up the middle. Yzaguirre loaded the bases again with a single to center field, Fraser hit an infield single to score Berreitter, and Brautigam scored when Helen Lin '19 grounded out to third base.

Hamilton took its first lead at 5-4 with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Kendall Searcy '20 led off with a single to left field and moved to second on Cardea's sacrifice bunt. Victoria Dunn '22 replaced Searcy at second and scored on the next at-bat when Berreitter roped a single through the left side of the infield.

Plattsburgh took back the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth inning on a hit and an error. With the bases loaded and no outs, Hamilton's Morgan Hartranft '22 (5-1) stepped into the pitching circle and struck out the first batter she faced. The Cardinals managed to score two unearned runs with a single and sacrifice bunt before Hartranft forced a ground out to end the inning. Hartranft is holding opponents to a .125 batting average -- top in the NESCAC -- and ranks third with a 1.14 ERA through 24.2 innings.

In the top of the seventh inning Searcy shut down the left side of the infield. With a runner on second, the junior shortstop recorded the second out of the inning when she backhanded a grounder deep in the hole and threw a laser to first base. She then swooped to her left to grab a ground ball heading for center field and stepped on second base for the force out.

Fraser finished 3-for-4 at the plate with three runs batted in. Yzaguirre went 2-for-4, Berreitter added a single and two walks, and Cardea went 1-for-1 with a walk and a sacrifice bunt.

Game One: Hamilton 14, Albright 2 (5 innings)

Molly Leitner '19 (2-0) pitched a complete game and scattered six hits for her second win of the season.

Lin (2-for-4) and Searcy (2-for-2) led Hamilton's nine-hit attack. Lin recorded a double and scored twice, and Searcy drove in two runs and scored two more. Berreitter hit a double, knocked in two runs and scored twice. Fraser batted in three runs and Shelby McVey '22 batted two. The Continentals also drew eight walks.

Hamilton batted around in the top of the first inning and built a 5-0 cushion off three hits and two walks. Back-to-back free passes were issued to Berreitter and McVey, and Yzaguirre reached on a fielder's choice when the Albright defense failed to get the force out at third base. Fraser cleared the bases with a double down the left-field line and stole third on the next pitch. Lin's double to left center scored Fraser, and Lin later scored on Searcy's single through the left side of the infield.

Albright (5-8) scored both of its runs in the bottom of the second off three walks -- the only walks allowed by Leitner -- and one hit.

Hamilton used another five-run inning in the top of the third and built a commanding 10-2 lead. The Continentals went on to score one run in the fourth and three more in the fifth. Leitner held Albright to four hits over the final three innings.