FORT MYERS, FLA. -- The Hiram College softball team began the 2013 season with a split defeating Regis (Mass.) College, 8-0, in six innings, but fell to Dominican (Ill.) University, 7-5, as part of the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.
In game one, the game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when Hiram (1-0) broke the stalemate with three runs on a two-RBI double by junior Jessica Bolanz (Randolph/Waterloo) and then a RBI single in the Terriers' next at-bat by sophomore Samantha Hughes (Hookstown, Pa./Hopewell). Hiram added five more runs in the top half of the sixth inning that included a RBI fielder's choice by freshman Kali Stover (Akron/Coventry) and a RBI single by sophomore Angela Perella (Lyndhurst/Beaumont) to extend the lead to 8-0. Regis (0-3) was held scoreless in the bottom of the frame to envoke the eight-run mercy rule sealing the shutout victory for the Terriers.
Offensively, Hiram was led by Bolanz, Hughes and sophomore Samantha Zuponcic (Mantua/Crestwood) with a pair of hits each. Bolanz finished two-for-three with a run scored and two RBI. Hughes also went two-for-three with a run scored and a RBI. Zuponcic was two-of-four with a run scored in her Hiram softball debut. Three other players recorded hits in the win to give the Terriers nine total as a team.
On the mound, freshman Meghan Garland (Mineral Ridge) recorded her first collegiate win in her first collegiate start pitching five innings allowing no runs on just two hits and struck out five batters. Fellow freshman Taylor Miller (Kent/Roosevelt) also made her collegiate debut pitching the final inning giving up no runs on two hits.
In game two, Dominican (3-1) scored two runs in the top of the first inning and crossed the plate three more times in the second to take an early 5-0 lead after two innings of play. The Stars tacked on another run in the fourth to increase the margin to 6-0. Hiram (1-1) got on the board with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a RBI single by freshman Jessica Wahl (Akron/Ellet) with a runner on second base to cut into the deficit to 6-1. Dominican added an insurance run in the seventh, but Hiram would make a final run in the bottom half of the inning scoring four runs on four separate RBI hits. All four runs came with two outs though and the game would end on a defensive play on Hiram's final scoring effort as the Stars went on to claim the 7-5 victory.
Wahl and sophomore All-NCAC outfielder Miranda Wright (Richfield/Revere) led the Hiram offense with two hits. Wahl went two-of-four with a run scored and two RBI, while Wright finished two-for-three with a run scored and a RBI.
On the hill, Miller started the game and pitched three innings giving up six runs on eight hits and had one strikeout. She was also credited with the loss and is 0-1 on the season. Garland pitched the final four innings allowing one run on eight hits and struck out one batter.
Hiram will continue its Florida trip with a pair of games tomorrow (Monday, Mar. 4). The Terriers will take on Penn State-Behrend (Pa.) at 1 p.m., followed by a matchup against Wartburg (Iowa) College at 3 p.m. in Fort Myers, Fla.