CLERMONT, Fla. – The Carleton College softball team dropped both games on the final day of play for the Knights during their spring break trip to Florida. Today’s opener featured a classic pitcher’s duel, with Buena Vista prevailing, 1-0. The trip concluded with a 16-0 loss at the hands of national No. 23 Eastern Connecticut State University.
Micaela LaRose (So./Waconia, Minn./Holy Family) turned in another sparking performance from the center circle, holding the Beavers to only an unearned run over 6.0 innings. She yielded six hits with a walk and four strikeouts while taking the hard-luck loss to slip to 3-4 on the season. She lowered her ERA to 1.66 this season and has allowed more than one earned run in only two of her seven starts this year.
The game was still scoreless in the bottom of the fourth when Buena Vista’s Samantha Knudsen tripled to right center. When she attempted to race home on the play, the Carleton defense nailed her at the plate to end the inning.
Defensive letdowns in the fifth led to the game’s lone run. Following a leadoff error, LaRose retired the next two batters. Brooke Berkey’s flyball to the right-centerfield gap should have been caught for the final out but instead fell in, and Berkey raced all the way around with what proved to be the winning run.
Carleton’s best scoring chance came in the top of the third when singles by
Claire Willeck (So./ Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie), Jenny Ramey (Jr./Cottage Grove, Minn./New Life Academy), and Kelsey Parsons (Sr./Golden Valley, Minn./Hopkins) loaded the bases with two out. Beaver hurler Jenna Falline escaped that jam and held the Knights to just one more hit over the final four frames.
The final game of the Knights’ visit to the Sunshine state was a forgettable one. Last week ECSU was ranked sixth in the nation but had slid 17 spots to No. 23 and had dropped 4-of their last-5 games. The Warriors wasted little time proving they are worthy of their rank, scoring 16 times on 18 hits over the front four innings.
The Knights had scoring chances in the second through fifth frames but went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Despite heading home with a 5-8 ledger, Carleton can feel good about hitting .308 as a team with a pitching staff boasting a combined 3.59 ERA
The Knights will open conference play at Augsburg College on Friday, March 29. That doubleheader will be played at Edor Nelson Field and now has a 12 p.m. start time.