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Knights Rally for Split with St. Ben's

April 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm
Knights Win!
Katrina Harper (#6) is greeted by her teammates following her game-winning hit.
Photo: Tom Dahlin

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – After dropping a nail-biter in the game one by a 3-2 margin, the Carleton College softball team earned a split against College of Saint Benedict with a pair of late rallies. The Knights tied the nightcap in the bottom of the seventh, then rallied again from a run down with two more scores in the eighth inning. Lindsay Szper (Fy./Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif./Chadwick School) doubled home the first run and later scored on Katrina Harper’s (So./Columbia Heights, Minn./Columbia Heights) single to give Carleton its second walk-off victory of the season

"It was a fun day of softball," said Carleton head coach Amy Erickson. "We are really playing a strong brand of softball, executing well offensively and defensively."

Trailing the opener, 3-0, heading into the bottom of the sixth, Carleton made it interesting as Micaela LaRose (Fy./Waconia, Minn./Holy Family) singled home Chelsea Yost (Jr./Bemidji, Minn./Bemidji) for the Knights’ first run, then Dana Mackey (Sr./Hingham, Mass./Hingham) raced all the way around from first base when the Blazers’ centerfield misplayed the ball.

Still down by a run, Maddie Ulanow (Fy./Potomac, Md./Winston Churchill) opened the bottom of the seventh with a base hit and was sacrificed over to third. The top of the Carleton order could not advanced her home, and the Knights (5-20, 4-6 MIAC) absorbed their fifth one-run setback of the season. LaRose took the loss, allowing the three runs on nine hits as she struck out six while going the distance.

Jenny Ramey (So./Cottage Grove, Minn./New Life Academy) opened game two with a double, and Harper followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Yost successfully laid down a squeeze bunt to give the hosts the early 1-0 lead.

St. Ben’s pushed across a pair of runs in the third against Jenny Forster (So./Ledyard, Conn./Ledyard), and the score remained 2-1 until the seventh. Mackey reached on an error and moved up on a passed ball. Harper’s second hit of the day put runners on the corners, and an errant throw by the rightfielder permitted Mackey to tally the tying run.

The Blazers escaped without further damage, then moved back in front with an extra-inning tally against reliever Kaitlin Bagley (So./Duluth, Minn./Denfeld), who was in her fifth inning of work. Forster re-entered the game and worked out of the jam and would notch her second win of the season after her teammates rallied in the home half of the eighth.

The bottom of the order came up big once again for the Knights. Brooke McManigal (So./Bothell, Wash./Singapore American School) opened the frame with a solid single to left. Szper then smashed a double to left-center, tying the game at 3-3. With two out and Szper still on third, Ramey was intentionally walked, bringing Harper back to the batter’s box one more time. The sophomore pulled a ground ball through the hole and into right field, plating the winning tally.

The Knights will host Saint Mary’s University for two games on Saturday, April 14.