The Blue and Gold split a pair of one-run games in their home-opening doubleheader versus the University of Rochester Sunday at Kostrinsky Field.
Ithaca came out on the short end of a 1–0 pitcher’s duel between senior pitcher Allison Greaney and Rochester senior pitcher Maddie Skellie. In the second game however, senior pitcher and outfielder Britt Lillie pitched out of a bases loaded jam for a 5–4 win.
The Bombers mustered only three hits in the first game and only had a runner in scoring position twice.
Junior infielder Annmarie Forenza, who struck out with a runner on to end the loss, said the team was focused on winning the final game of the weekend after losing back-to-back one-run games and playing the day after returning from a road trip to Stevens Institute of Technology.
“There was no point in looking back and thinking about what we could have done,” she said. “We knew we had no choice but to play in the moment and we knew we could only go up from there.”
Freshman pitcher Jillian Olmstead made her fourth start of the season in the second game, giving up seven hits and two earned runs in five innings.
Classmate and designated player Jackie Branco had her first career home run, a two run shot, in the third inning. Branco said that once the team developed more patience at the plate and battled harder against Rochester starting pitcher Sara Hutchinson, they were able to get the big hits they needed.
“We were seeing the ball better in the second game in that we could anticipate that she was going to throw more outside,” she said. “Once were able to fight off pitches later in the count, we could force her into making a mistake.”
Head Coach Deb Pallozzi said offensive production in the games was a matter of finding the right pitches to hit.
“Rochester was throwing a lot of pitches in the dirt that we were chasing in the first game,” Pallozzi said. “The team did a good job of taking those low pitches in the second game after we told them to zone up.”
Sophomore outfielder Jenn Biondi made the largest improvement, going 0-for-2 in the first game, and coming back with three hits and two runs scored in the second game.
Lillie walked in a run in the top of the seventh inning to cut Ithaca’s lead to one, but forced a groundout to earn the save and seal the 10th win of the season.
The South Hill squad will take the field Thursday for a rescheduled game with the Cortland Red Dragons.