Cape Coral, Fla. – The Clark University softball team dropped its first two games of the 2014 season, falling 8-0 to Alverno College and then a heartbreaking 7-5 decision to Franklin College on Saturday afternoon at the Cape Coral Sports Complex.
In the season opener, the Inferno scored five runs in the first inning off of starter Hayley Buckheit (Camden Hills, Maine) and never looked back in the collecting the six-inning victory.
Alverno hurler Erin Dulek was dominant in the circle, striking out eight of the first ten batters she faced, and didn't allow a hit until Rachel Kraytenberg (Londonderry, N.H.) singled through the right side with two outs in the fourth inning.
The Cougars only mustered one other hit in the contest – a two-out infield single by Melanie Dusseault (Auburn, N.H.) in the top of the fifth.
Buckheit (0-1) went the distance for Clark allowing eight runs, only four of which were earned. Dulek, meanwhile, fanned 11 batters for the Inferno to pick up the win.
In game two, the Cougars raced out to a 5-0 lead before Franklin rallied for seven unanswered runs to secure the win.
They added four more runs in the fourth on run scoring base hits from Molly Clark (North Kingstown, R.I.) and Corrie Derosier (Shrewsbury, Mass.), an RBI groundout by Kraytenberg and a bases loaded hit by pitch by Alyssa Wright (Manchester, N.H.).
The Grizzlies began mounting their comeback in the fifth when Samantha Blevins smacked an RBI double and then run scoring hits by Katie Struewing and McKensie Vanosdol, making the score 5-3.
They completed the rally with four more in the sixth highlighted by RBI by Blevins, Struewing and Vanosdol.
Vanosdol came in and pitched three innings of hitless relief to collect the victory, while Dusseault gave up 12 hits and struck out a career-high seven but yielded all seven runs.
Lauren Mackey (Dublin, N.H.) went 3-for-4 at the plate for the Scarlet and White, while Kraytenberg had a pair of RBI.
Clark will return to the diamond on Sunday with a doubleheader against Newbury College and Wilmington College.