March 6 – TUCSON, Ariz. – Behind solid pitching performances from sophomore Makenzie Dombrowski and freshman Brooklynn Grein, along with some timely hitting, the Hiram College softball team captured a pair of victories in the second day of the 2017 Tucson Invitational.
The Terriers first earned a 1-0 victory over Newbury College, before taking down Bethany Lutheran by a score of 3-1 in the second game.
The pitching duo of Dombrowski and Grein combined to throw 14 innings, allowing just one earned run and 11 hits while striking out 15 batters.
Dombrowski worked a gem in the first game, notching the complete-game shutout. She allowed just three hits and struck out 11 over seven innings. Grein also pitched well in her outing, going six-strong innings to earn her first-career victory.
The Terrier's aggressiveness on the base paths was evident early in the victory over Newbury. Nikki Budner led off the game with a single and the stole both second and third base in the frame. The pilfers marked two of five total steals that Hiram successfully pulled off in the game.
Following Dombrowski's one-two-three inning in the bottom of the first, the Terriers once again used their running game to cause havoc on the bases. Kourtney Holcomb singled and, after moving to second base, advanced to third on a single by Brittany Zajac. The duo then successfully pulled off a double steal, giving Hiram the only run of the game and leading to the victory.
The sophomore starting pitcher for the Terriers had perhaps her best-career pitching performance as she finished with her third-career complete-game shutout. She tallied a career-high 11 strikeouts in the game, striking out at least two Nighthawks in five of the seven innings, and setting down the side on strikes in the third.
Newbury had their chances to break through, however, placing runners on second and third with one out in the third inning. Dombrowski responded by striking out the next two batters to end the side.
In the fifth inning, the Terrier "D" came to the aide of their ace. Following a bunt single and a stolen base, the Nighthawks had a runner on second and looked to tie with one out. A deep fly ball to center field was met, however, by a diving, over-the-shoulder catch from senior Dana Perrotta. The senior then doubled off the runner at second, ending the inning.
Dombrowski would handle the final two innings on her own, allowing a pair of baserunners, and striking out two in the seventh to secure the win.
Offensively, both Holcomb and Zajac tallied a pair of hits, while the Terriers also racked up five stolen bases.
The win marked, not only, the first victory of the season for the sophomore, but it also was the first victory for the new Terrier coaching staff.
Grein stepped in the circle for game number two and gave the Terriers another solid pitching performance. Earning her first victory as a member of the Hiram squad, the freshman tossed six innings, allowing just one earned run while striking out one.
The Hiram offense produced nine hits in the game, including two, apiece, from Dombrowski and Perrotta. The speedy Perrotta also added two more stolen bases in the game, giving the team seven for the day.
The Terriers tallied their first run of the game on a double from Dombrowski in the bottom of the second inning which scored Heather Pahoresky.
The fourth inning saw Hiram add an insurance run as Zajac led off the frame with a double. After moving to third on a sac bunt by Grein, Dombrowski brought her in with a sacrifice fly to expand the advantage to 2-0.
After the Vikings cut the lead in half in the top of the fifth inning, Grein helped her own cause, driving in Perrotta on a fielder's choice, to give Hiram a 3-1 lead.
Dombrowski finished off an all-around day by taking over the pitching circle with one runner on and no outs in the top of the seventh. The sophomore then posted three-straight strikeouts to nail down her first-career save and give the Terriers the victory.
Overall, in both games, Dombrowski pitched eight innings, striking out 14 batters while allowing just three hits and zero earned runs. She also collected a victory and a save, while going 3-for-6 with a pair of RBIs at the plate.
Hiram will be back in action on Wednesday afternoon as they continue play at the Tucson Invitational. The Terriers will matchup up with Dakota State before taking on Dakota Wesleyan.