CHICAGO – The University of Chicago softball team's first competitions at home proved to be friendly to Maroon hitters, as the hosts swept visiting North Park University in two Monday, 12-4 and 8-4.
The wins also achieved an important milestone for 19th-year Head Coach Ruth Kmak: her 400th career victory. Kmak's career record now stands at 400-252-1 for a .613 winning percentage.
UCHICAGO 12, UCHICAGO 4 (5 innings)
The visiting Vikings jumped out to an early four-run lead in the top of the first, but UChicago responded with 12 unanswered runs to end Monday's opener in five innings.
Down 4-0, UChicago leadoff hitter Emma Nelson blasted a solo shot to left field to cut the lead to three, and teammates Serena Moss (RBI double) and Skye Collins (RBI single) added base-scoring hits to help tie up the game.
Sophomore Holli Jones singled to left center to score Nelson in the second to give the Maroons the lead for good, and first-year Abby Hayes drilled a two-RBI knock to right field to make it 7-4, UChicago.
Hayes added another RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Garvey would play hero in the fifth, blasting her second long ball of the season over the left field fence to score three. The game ended in an unlikely manner, however, with North Park's catcher attempting a pickoff of pinch runner Christie Ambrose.
Instead of making it to first, the ball glanced off batter Moss' helmet and landed all the way in right field, allowing Ambrose to circle the bases and score the game-ending run.
Nelson (RBI) and Moss (RBI) were a perfect 3-for-3, Garvey was 2-for-4 with three RBI and Collins finished 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Starter Molly Moran pitched all five innings for UChicago, scattering eight hits, striking out six, and allowing four earned runs.
UCHICAGO 8, NORTH PARK 4
The Maroons gained control of Game 2 midway through the contest and held off a late Vikings rally, as junior Jordyne Prussak improved to a perfect 5-0 on the season for UChicago.
Rookie Skye Collins led off the scoring with the Maroons' third homer of the day, belting a shot to dead center field for her first collegiate home run of her career that scored two in the bottom of the second.
North Park (7-15) would answer with two runs in the top of the fourth – with the help of a Caitlyn Webb home run – to tie the game at 4-all. But the Maroons would again respond with two runs in the bottom of the frame, courtesy of first-year Abby Hayes' two-RBI single through the left side to give the hosts back the lead at 4-2.
With the Maroons leading 8-2, the Vikings made a late charge with four runs in the top of the seventh, but reliever Megan Stoppelman struck out the final batter to end the charge.
Moss finished 2-for-3 with an RBI, Collins was 2-for-3 with two RBI, Hayes 2-for-3 with three RBI and Garvey recorded two RBI for the Maroons, who totaled 10 hits.
Prussak threw six innings, scattering seven hits, striking out two, walking two and gave up just one earned run.
- Thursday, April 5: Aurora at UChicago (DH), 3/5 PM CT)