PLANT CITY, Fla. – Saint Joseph's College (2-8) suffered a pair of close losses in the Sunkissed Games tournament on Friday. The Monks fell to Muskingum (8-2), 12-9, and closed out their 2019 trip with a 6-5 setback at the hands of Penn State-Behrend.
MUSKINGUM 12, SAINT JOSEPH'S 9:
Muskingum opened play with two runs off three hits in the top of the first and held a 3-0 lead before Saint Joseph's plated a pair without a hit in the bottom of the second. Sophomore catcher Megan Eagleston (Reading, Mass.) reached on an error and eventually scored on a passed ball and sophomore left fielder Madeline Wood (Madison, Maine) walked and later stole home to cut the SJC deficit to 3-2.
The Muskies quickly turned the game in their favor by scoring six unanswered runs off seven hits in the third in fourth innings combined to claim a 9-2 cushion heading into the fifth frame.
The Monks' bats came to life in the fifth with three runs off three hits, as Kaylee Burns (Saco, Maine) and Eagleston notched RBI singles and Wood delivered a sacrifice fly to make it a 9-5 game.
Muskingum grabbed a 12-5 advantage after scoring three runs off two hits in the top of the seventh and Saint Joseph's mounted an impressive comeback bid in the bottom of the inning with four runs off a pair of hits, including a bases-loaded double from freshman Camryn LaPierre (Westbrook, Maine).
SJC starting pitcher Madisyn Charest (Sidney, Maine) took the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) off nine hits in 2.1 innings. Muskingum starter Hannah Smith (Cambridge, Ohio) earned the win after yielding five runs (four earned) off six hits and three walks with five strikeouts over six innings.
For Saint Joseph's, Melodie Bailey (Lebanon, Maine) and Eagleston both notched two hits apiece. Sophomore second baseman Karsyn Shaffer (Greenville, Ohio) led the Muskingum offense by going 3-3 with a run and two RBI.
PENN STATE-BEHREND 6, SAINT JOSEPH'S 5:
The Monks trailed 3-0 before tying the game with three runs off five hits in the top of the fifth. Senior Meghan Elliott (Mendon, Mass.) doubled home a run and later scored on a Bailey base hit and LaPierre lofted a sac fly to knot the game at 3-3.
The Lions grabbed the lead with the help of an infield error in the bottom of the fifth before the Monks claimed a 5-4 edge with two runs off a miscue in the top of the sixth.
Unfortunately Saint Joseph's was unable to protect the lead as Penn State-Behrend produced two runs off four hits and left the bases loaded after senior AJ Nichols (Pittsburgh, Pa.) roped a walk-off single.
Junior starter Caitlyn King (Old Town, Maine) took the loss after allowing six runs (two earned) off 11 hits and three walks with a pair of K's over 6.1 innings.
The Monks return to action with a non-conference doubleheader at University of New England on Tuesday, March 26th. The first game is slated to start at 3:00 PM.