Softball Splits 4-3 Regional Decisions To End Florida Trip

Softball pitcher in white uniform mid-motion
Freshman Abby Poirot earned her first career win when Felician defeated Assumption on Mar. 7, 2020. (Steve Nesius)

JAN PHYL VILLAGE, Fla. – Felician University freshman pitcher Abby Poirot (Winsted, Conn.) earned her first collegiate victory as the Golden Falcons concluded their 14-game season-opening trip to PFX Athletics' THE Spring Games with a 4-3 non-conference softball victory over Assumption College on Saturday afternoon at the Auburndale Softball Complex. Earlier on Saturday, Felician lost to American International College, 4-3, in eight innings.

Felician senior first baseman Nicole Spiegelberg (Blauvelt, N.Y.) hit a home run in each game. She leads Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference players with five homers in 2020 and extended her Golden Falcon career record to 34. Spiegelberg drove in five of her team's seven runs on the day.

Poirot (1-2) went the distance against Assumption for her first career complete game. She toiled through 153 pitches, giving up two earned runs on seven hits in her seven innings of work with four strikeouts and five walks.

Playing as the home team, Felician (4-10) used two Greyhound errors to grab a 1-0 second-inning lead. Assumption equalized during the top of the fifth on a one-out RBI double by Kayla Peabody (Mendon, Mass.), but Poirot left Peabody stranded and the Golden Falcons went head to stay in the bottom of the fifth.

Johanna Rivera (Cliffside Park, N.J.) led off with an infield hit and circled all the way around to third base on Vienna Chierchia's (Malanapan, N.J.) sacrifice bunt. Assumption made a play on Rivera on Monica Laverty's (Lyndhurst, N.J.) grounder, but Rivera scampered safely back to third, leaving runners at the corners. Felician reclaimed the lead on a wild pitch, and Spiegelberg followed with a two-run round-tripper for a 4-1 edge.

Poirot pitched a perfect sixth but gave up a one-out single to Jordan Dwyer (Coventry, R.I.) in the seventh. Dwyer advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored when Alyssa Beaton's (Smithfield, R.I.) ground ball was ruled an error. Beaton, who ended up on second base on the play, came all the way around to score one out later on a passed ball. With two outs and no one on, Poirot issued a walk. The game ended when on the next play, Alyssa Bialakis' (Boca Raton, Fla.) grounder struck the runner before a fielder had a chance to make a play.

The Greyhounds outhit Felician, 7-4. Beaton had two stolen bases for Assumption (1-1).

All four runs allowed by the Golden Falcons to American International, which was playing its season opener, were unearned. Felician, the designated visiting team, staked senior right-hander Erin Powers (Aberdeen, N.J.) to a 3-0 lead after three frames. Spiegelberg hit a two-run homer with one out in the first inning and lined an RBI single in the third.

Powers escaped a two-on, none-out jam in the first, and continued to dance into and out of trouble for most of her six-inning stint. The Yellow Jackets finally reached her for a pair of runs in the sixth. AIC had two runners reach on errors with one out. Powers induced a popup, but sophomore Victoria Andrade (Salem, N.H.) spoiled the shutout with an RBI single. The Yellow Jackets then pulled to within a run on the Golden Falcons' third miscue of the frame.

Felician wasted a one-out Chierchia triple in the top of the seventh, then turned to sophomore righty Trinity Garcia (West Covina, Calif.) in the circle for the bottom half. AIC senior Lydia Depina (Randolph, Mass.) was hit by a pitch, moved up two bases on a passed ball and wild pitch, and then beat the throw home on Bonnie Kennedy's (Chatham, N.J.) grounder to tie the game.

The international tiebreaker was invoked for extra innings. AIC made a play for the runner moving to third base on C.J. Apacible's (Long Beach, Calif.) grounder, but placed runner Jackie Ribaudo (Staten Island, N.Y.) beat the play. Nevertheless, Yellow Jacket pitcher Kacie Allison (Woodbourne, N.Y.) retired the next three hitters without advance.

In the home half, Kayla Riley (Havehill, Mass.) was placed on second base and moved up on a groundout. Garcia (0-1) recorded a strikeout, and the Golden Falcons elected to intentionally walk the next two hitters. Sophomore shortstop Mackenzie Aleva (North Berwick, Maine) spoiled the strategy, knocking a single to right field to plate Riley and end the game.

Chiercha was 3 for 4 and with a double and triple and Spiegelberg and Laverty also had two hits for Felician, which left nine runners on base. Kennedy went 2 for 4 in the leadoff spot for AIC, and Allison had three strikeouts and three walks in the eight-inning complete game.

Felician is next in action on Monday for a 3:30 p.m. non-conference doubleheader against Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y.