The Hiram College softball team fell on the losing end of a 12-3 decision against No. 2 nationally-ranked Montclair State (N.Y.) University and a 3-1 matchup against Muskingum University as part of the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla.
Against Montclair State (6-1), the Redhawks got on the board with six unanswered runs, scoring four in the top of the third and two in the fourth that included a solo homerun, to lead 6-0. Hiram (4-3) ended the possible shutout with a run in the bottom of the fourth on a RBI-single by senior All-Region catcher Jess Bolanz (Randolph/Waterloo) making the score 6-1. MSU crossed the plate three more times in the sixth, but Hiram got two of the runs back in the bottom half of the frame thanks to a two-RBI single by freshman pitcher/first baseman Brittany Zajac (Corry, Pa./Corry) with bases loaded. But the Redhawks put the game away in the seventh scoring three more runs to go on to the 12-3 final.
Hiram had five hits in the game with all five hits coming from different players. Bolanz finished the game one-of-two to go along with the RBI and Zajac went one-of-three with two RBI.
At pitcher, sophomore Taylor Miller (Kent/Roosevelt) started the game and pitched two-and-a-third innings allowing four runs on four hits and struck out three batters. She was also credited with the loss. Fellow sophomore Meghan Garland (Mineral Ridge) pitched four and two-thirds innings in relief giving up eight runs on 10 hits and also struck out three hitters.
In the nightcap against Muskingum (6-4), the Fighting Muskies struck first with three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Hiram tallied what turned out to be its only run of the game in the top of the fourth thanks to a RBI-single by sophomore third baseman Nicole Hoy (Brunswick) to make the score 3-1. The two-run difference would prove to be enough as neither team would cross homeplate the remainder of the game as the Muskies went on to post the 3-1 victory.
Hiram recorded five hits for the second straight game with Bolanz and Hoy both finishing two-of-three at the plate. In addition to her two hits, Hoy also scored a RBI.
On the mound, Zajac started the game and went two complete innings allowing three runs on six hits and would also suffer the loss. Garland came on to pitch the final four innings giving up no runs and just one hit.
Hiram will conclude its annual “southern swing” tomorrow (Saturday, Mar. 15) with a pair of games beginning with a matchup against Catholic (Wash. D.C.) University at 9 a.m., followed by a game against The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) at 11 a.m.