March 1, 2013
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Tarran Shaffer and Brie Pasquale homered and Brittany Gardner scattered five hits and allowed one earned run as Loyola University Chicago (2-2) scored in each of the first five innings to roll to a 7-3 victory over Quinnipiac (1-4) this afternoon on the opening day of play at the USF Under Armour Invitational at the Eddie C. Moore Complex. The win snaps the Ramblers' mini two-game losing kid.
Loyola struck first and wasted no time in setting the tone right from the opening batter of the game. Center fielder Brooke Andresen, who moved within seven hits of equaling Ellen Antonacci's Loyola career mark (177), led off the contest with a double to right field and moved to second on Jessica Balzano's bunt single before scoring when Balzano stole second base.
Shaffer clobbered a solo home run with one out in the second inning before Pasquale belted her second roundtripper of the season, also a solo shot, in the third as Loyola extended the lead to 3-0. Shaffer's RBI bunt single later in the inning capped the scoring in a two-run third.
After tacking on another run in the fourth inning, the Ramblers concluded their offensive onslaught in the fifth, when freshman shortstop Hannah Jenkins plated a pair of runs with a ground-rule double.
The Bobcats were finally able to get to Gardner late, but their rally came up short. After pushing a run across in the sixth inning, Quinnipiac added two more in the seventh and had a runner on first with two outs. Gardner showed why she is one of the top hurlers in the region however, as she got leftfielder Courtney Solt to line out to third to end the threat.
Balzano, Shaffer, and Katy LaCivita tallied two hits apiece for Loyola, which totaled 10 hits off two Bobcats pitchers. Gardner allowed only one earned run and no walks, while fanning seven, to earn her second win of the spring.