Hempstead, NY – Olivia Malinowski delivered a pinch-hit, walk-off single during game two to help lift the Hofstra University softball team to a two-game sweep of the College of Charleston on Saturday, April 2 at Bill Edwards Stadium.
Kasey Collins collected five hits on the day, with Gianna Iaquinto, Meghan Giordanoand Chelsea Manto all notched three hits. Angelina Ioppolo led the Pride with three runs batted in.
Game One: Hofstra 9, Charleston 7
The Pride outlasted the Cougars in an action-packed opener that featured 20 hits and 16 runs. Both teams scored a single run during the first inning before Charleston pushed across three runs in the top of the third. Hofstra, however, responded in a big way over its following two at-bats. During the bottom of the third, Collins collected a two-out single and stole her fourth stolen base of the year. Following a Giordano single, Hofstra took full advantage of a Cougar error by scoring two runs on a misplay in the outfield. Sam Ward capped off the inning with an RBI-single to left field to level the score at 4-4.
After holding Charleston scoreless in the fourth inning, Amanda Maffucci, Devyn Loscoand Chelsea Manto recorded three-consecutive singles during the bottom of the frame. Collins drove in one run and Hofstra tallied another run on another Charleston miscue on the play. The Pride tacked on another run on a squeeze bunt by Giordano and added a final run on an RBI-groundout from Ioppolo to take a commanding 8-4 lead.
Charleston scored three runs during the sixth inning with a three-run home run to cut the deficit to one. In Hofstra’s at-bat, Giordano reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on a hit-by-pitch and a wild pitch. Following a strikeout, Giordano snuck down the third base line and stole home to give the Pride a 9-7 lead that they would hold onto the rest of the way.
Nikki Mullin (1-4) fired her first victory of the season in the win, striking out five batters over 6.1 innings.
Game Two: Hofstra 4, Charleston 3
Both teams were held scoreless during the first two frames and for the second-straight game, Charleston struck first with an RBI-single in the third inning. Despite threatening early, Hofstra stranded four runners through its first four at-bats. Iaquinto led off the fifth inning with a single up the middle and Losco followed suit with a bunt-single. Manto made it three-consecutive hits with a bunt-single of her own to load the bases. A fourth-straight hit by Collins drove in Hofstra’s first run of the game and Giordano continued the small-ball play with another squeeze bunt to give the Blue and Gold the lead. Ioppolo added another single to drive in a third run to help Hofstra to a 3-1 lead through five innings.
The Cougars cut the deficit in half with a solo home run during the sixth inning and tied the scoring with another solo home run to lead off the seventh inning. Apsel retired the next three batters in order to bring the Pride to their final at-bat.
Collins led off the seventh with a single through the left side of the infield and Giordano advanced her into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. An Ioppolo single put runners on the corners and set the stage for Malinowski. The freshman drove the second pitch of her at-bat down the right-field line to drive home Collins and give Hofstra the 5-4 victory.
Julia Apsel improved to 4-8 on the season and struck out six batters in a complete-game performance.
The Pride and Cougars are scheduled to conclude the three-game set on Sunday, April 3 at 12 pm Inclement weather is forecasted for Hempstead and fans are advised to check GoHofstra.com and @HofstraSoftball on Twitter for game updates.
-Hofstra recorded 23 hits on the day including 11 in game one and 12 in game two.
-Hofstra went 3-for-3 on stolen base attempts
-The Pride turned two double plays
-Hofstra is now 11-18 overall and 4-1 in the CAA while Charleston is 6-25 overall and 1-4 in the league