CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Mitchell College softball team opened the 2020 season with a doubleheader split on Saturday at The Spring Games, besting Cabrini University by a 6-5 margin before falling 8-0 to Franklin College.
A walk-off single from Kacee Hirst clinched the victory in the opener. The rookie pitcher picked up her first career win in the circle, yielding five runs on seven hits while striking out three. The win was also the first for Erin Miller, who was making her collegiate debut as a head coach.
Mitchell returns to action at The Spring Games on Sunday, March 1 with match-ups against Rosemont College (10:15 a.m.) and Alvernia University (2:45 p.m.).
Game 1 - Mitchell 6, Cabrini 5
Mitchell fell behind 1-0 in the first inning but jumped in front with a pair of runs in the second. Alex Lopez drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the first first run, and Kaitlin Thibodeau-Corey followed with a single to center to plate the second.
The Cavaliers responded with runs in the third and fourth frames to retake the lead, although Mitchell tied the game with a solo run in the home half of the fourth. Cabrini then used a pair of runs in the fifth to go up 5-3, and later took the same margin into the bottom of the seventh needing only three outs to end the game.
The Mariners didn't cooperate, as Lopez led off with a double and later scored on a one-out double by Maliah Pabellon. Still trailing by one, Mitchell loaded the bases before Cabrini pitcher Casey Scheuren recorded the second out of the inning via strikeout. That set the stage for Hirst, who swung on the second pitch of her at bat to send the game-winning, two-run single into right field.
Game 2 - Franklin 8, Mitchell 0 (6 innings)
Lopez and Thibodeau-Corey each singled in the contest, but Franklin pitchers Kayla Selzer and Dani Wyse kept the Mitchell lineup off balance the entire game. The duo combined to strike out eight batters over 6.0 innings.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies lineup plated runs in all but two innings. Franklin led 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth but scored four runs to end the game via the eight-run mercy rule. Hirst took the loss for the Mariners, allowing seven runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings