WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Senior first baseman Nicole Spiegelberg (Blauvelt, N.Y.) set the Felician University career home run record and Felician head coach Herb Melendez earned his first collegiate victory as the Golden Falcons defeated Notre Dame (Ohio) College, 8-3, in non-conference softball action during THE Spring Games on Friday morning at the DiamondPlex Softball Complex. Later Friday, Felician lost, 9-0, in five innings to nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College.
Felician was playing its first two games of the 2020 season. Golden Falcon junior second baseman C.J. Apacible (Long Beach, Calif.) collected two hits in each contest.
Felician was the designated visiting team versus NDC (0-3). The left-handed hitting Spiegelberg drove the first pitch of the top of the seventh inning over the left (opposite) field fence for her 30th collegiate round-tripper. Ciera Clark hit 29 home runs for the Golden Falcons from 2012-15. Spiegelberg was 3 for 3 with a double and a walk and scored three runs.
Felician jumped out to a 4-0 first-inning edge. After it loaded the bases with one out on a single and two walks, Apacible's topped grounder to short left the infielders with no play. Sophomore Krystina Lorch (Hemet, Calif.) and freshman Johanna Rivera (Cliffside Park, N.J.) were both hit by pitches to force in runs, and freshman Merrick Gourhan (Oakland, N.J.) capped the rally with a sacrifice fly.
Staked to the lead, Golden Falcon senior right-hander Erin Powers (Aberdeen, N.J.) yielded six baserunners in the first two frames but allowed only one to score. Powers issued three first-inning walks, the third after one was out, but escaped with a popup and strikeout. With a run already in, she faced a second-and-third, none-out jam in the second. Apacible made consecutive strong defensive plays, cutting down a runner at home plate and chasing a base-stealer who had tried to stop to avoid a tag, and Powers struck out the next hitter to avoid further damage.
Felician carried a 5-3 lead into the seventh before breaking the game open. After Spiegelberg's homer, Jackie Ribaudo (Staten Island, N.Y.) singled, was sacrificed to second base and came home on a Lorch double. Following a pitching change, a Rivera hit plated pinch-runner Alexis De La Cruz (San Jacinto, Calif.) to conclude the scoring.
Powers tossed 119 pitches in completing a six-hitter. She gave up one earned run, struck out three batters and walked five. Leadoff batter Monica Laverty (Lyndhurst, N.J.) was 2 for 5 for Felician. Notre Dame freshman catcher Sydnie Jarrett (Welllington, Ohio) was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI.
Melendez was hired as the Golden Falcons' seventh head coach last July. He was an assistant on Lori Kwaitkowski's Felician staffs during the 2012 and 2013 campaigns.
Saint Anselm (8-0) is ranked No. 12 in the most recent national NCAA Division II coaches' poll. Golden Falcon sophomore lefty Martarina Crumb (Branchville, N.J.) held the Hawk offense at bay in the early going. Felician stranded a baserunner in each frame and the teams entered the fourth scoreless.
The Hawks, designated as the road team, received a one-out solo home run from senior center fielder Erin Thompson (Newton, N.H.). Felician's Apacible and Lorch singled to begin the home half of the fourth, but Saint Anselm called McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) out of the bullpen, and the sophomore righty induced a groundout and two strikeouts to preserve her team's 1-0 edge.
The Hawks broke the game open with an eight-run fifth, tagging three Golden Falcon pitchers for seven hits. Saint Anselm junior Kat Stackrow (Poestenkill, N.Y.) had a two-run double, junior Bre Klaiber (Ironton, Ohio) a two-run home run, and sophomore Bailey Cain (Wellington, Fla.) a grand slam during the uprising.
All five Felician hits were singles. Apacible went 2 for 2.
Felician returns to action in THE Spring Games on Saturday, taking on Cedarville University at 10:15 a.m. and the University of Mary at 12:30 p.m. in Winter Haven.