NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The Regis (Mass.) softball team dropped its season opener on Sunday evening, dropping a 7-4 decision to Penn St.-Schuylkill in non-conference action at the North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex.
With the loss, the Pride drops to 0-1 on the season, while the Lady Lions move to 2-1.
The Pride jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when junior Amanda Navarro (Stoneham, Mass.) roped a two-out base hit over the head of the shortstop to drive in sophomore Brianna Napoleone (Medford, Mass.) from third.
The lead was short-lived for the Pride, as the Lady Lions grabbed a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to grab a 2-1 lead after the first. Schuylkill lead-off hitter Makenna Rushannon (Pottsville, Pa.) tacked onto her team's lead in the second inning with an RBI single to left, and after advancing to third on an error, came home on a groundout in the next at-bat, giving the Lady Lions a 5-1 edge after two.
The pitchers took control of the game after the second, holding the opposing offenses scoreless in the next three innings, before both teams got on the board in the sixth. Regis senior Kelsey Morton (South Portland, Maine) picked up an RBI on a base hit down the right field line to cut the deficit to 5-2, but Rushannon struck again in the bottom of the inning with an RBI triple over centerfielder Morton's head to run the Schuylkill lead to 7-2.
The Pride threatened to come back in the top of the seventh, loading the bases on three straight singles to open the frame from sophomore Kelsey Grimard (Pelham, N.H.), senior Allison Caloggero (Medford, Mass.) and Navarro, but the Pride could only score Grimard and Caloggero before a rally-killing double play secured the win for the Lady Lions.
Schuylkill freshman Hannah Sell picked up her first collegiate win, improving to 1-1 on the young season. Sell threw a complete game allowing four earned on 11 hits with one strikeout. The loss went to sophomore Lisa Lusardi (Enfield, Conn.), who got the start for the Pride, allowing two earned runs on five hits in four innings pitched. Freshman Madi McLellan (Fremont, N.H.) impressed in her first collegiate outing, throwing two innings out of the bullpen allowing just two hits and no earned runs with a strikeout.
Leading the Pride on the afternoon was Navarro, who went 3-for-4 from the cleanup position with an RBI. Grimard and Caloggero each had a pair of hits to go along with a run in the losing effort. The Pride struggled to get timely hitting throughout the ballgame, as the team left a total of eight runners on base in the game, including stranding two runners on three occasions.
Next up, Regis will continue play in Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in Myrtle Beach on Monday morning, taking on Randolph at 11:30 a.m., followed immediately with a date with Mary Washington at 1:30 p.m.