Softball Loses Pair Despite Gourhan Longballs

Softball catcher receiving ball.
Freshman Merrick Gourhan homered in each of Felician's games on Feb. 29, 2020. (Kim Spiegelberg)

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Felician University freshman catcher Merrick Gourhan (Oakland, N.J.) hit solo home runs in each game, but the Golden Falcons lost a pair of non-conference softball contests during PFX Athletics' THE Spring Games on Saturday at the DiamondPlex Softball Complex. Felician (1-3) was defeated by Cedarville University, 11-3, in six innings, in its morning game before dropping an 8-1 decision to the University of Mary later Saturday.

Gourhan's blast in the fourth inning against Cedarville was the first home run of her collegiate career. She is a 2019 graduate of Indian Hills High School.

Felician was designated as the visiting team against the Yellow Jackets. A run-scoring single by sophomore Jackie Ribaudo (Staten Island, N.Y.) in the top of the third inning evened the score at 1-1. However, Cedarville took the lead for good with three runs in the home half of the frame off Golden Falcon sophomore left-hander Martarina Crumb (Branchville, N.J.) (0-2).

Gourhan made it 4-2 with her shot to left field. In the fifth, Felician pulled to within a run on another Ribaudo RBI single. But the Golden Falcons stranded the potential tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position. Cedarville used the short game to extend its lead in the bottom of the fifth. After a pair of singles to start the inning, the Yellow Jackets score a run on consecutive sacrifice bunts. Senior Kara Eiginger (Jacksonville, Fla.) lined a single into left field to complete the rally.

Cedarville ended the game in the sixth, plating five runs before recording an out for the eight-run spread. Senior shortstop Sarah Parsons (Lexington, Ky.) was 4 for 4 with three runs scored and senior center fielder Hannah Lord (Marietta, Ohio) had three doubles for Cedarville (3-10), which piled up 14 hits. Ribaudo and leadoff batter Monica Laverty (Lyndhurst, N.J.) were each 2 for 3 for the Golden Falcons.

Felician was limited to two hits during its afternoon outing. UMary junior right-hander Kaitlyn Alvarado (Yucaipa, Calif.) fashioned the complete-game gem, facing five batters over the minimum. The only blemish on her line was Gourhan's fifth-inning homer to straightaway center field. Alvarado struck out four batters, walked one and hit one.

UMary, the scheduled away team, had taken a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning. With runners on first and third and one out, Marauder senior Emma Noble (Murray, Utah) beat the relay throw to first base on a potential double-play ground ball, allowing the game's first run to score. Following a walk, UMary junior Madelynn Trout (North Bend, Wash.) reached Felician freshman hurler Alexis De La Cruz (San Jacinto, Calif.) (0-1) for a three run home run.

Only once, when De La Cruz drew a walk following Gourhan's homer, did the Golden Falcons put two runners on base in the same inning. After plating an unearned run in the sixth, UMary (6-7) received longballs from Noble and Isabella Saint Hilaire (West Valley City, Calif.) in the seventh to complete the scoring. Freshman Vienna Chierchia (Manalapan, N.J.) picked up Felician's other safety, a single leading off the fourth, but never moved.

Felician plays twice more in non-conference action during THE Spring Games on Sunday. The Golden Falcons meet West Virginia Wesleyan College at 10 a.m. in Winter Haven, followed by a 12:15 p.m. meeting with the University of Findlay.