LEESBURG, Fla. – Michele MacDonald (N. Dighton, Mass.) opened Day 2 at The Spring Games for Mount Ida College with a solo home run to deep center field and finished the game with four hits, three runs scored and two RBIs as the Mustangs never trailed in a 9-4 win over New England College at Sleepy Hollow Fields.
The victory allowed Mount Ida (2-2) to claim another split of their day in Florida, after suffering a 9-1 loss to Juniata in their second game of the afternoon.
Game One: Mount Ida 9, New England College 4
After MacDonald's leadoff homerun, the Mustangs doubled their advantage on an RBI single by Lexi Minicucci (Westfield, Mass.), but the Pilgrims tied the game with single runs in the next two innings, one on a solo shot by Gabriella Marcheschi (St. James, N.Y.), and the other on an RBI single by Brianna Castellano (Hamilton, N.J.)
Junior Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.) and senior Kaitlyn Muhlenforth (Bohemia, N.Y.) each had a pair of hits for Mount Ida, who took the lead for good with two runs in the fourth, when MacDonald doubled to left center and runs came across on a Microulis sacrifice fly and an Emma Morton (Winchester, Mass.) single to center field.
They added two runs in the fifth and three more in the seventh after New England College had taken two bases-loaded walks in the sixth to cut the deficit to two again. MacDonald added an RBI single in the final inning after Jenni Jackson (Marlborough, Mass.) opened the inning with a double and the Mustangs had four straight hits before making an out.
The homer was the first of her career for MacDonald, though multi-hit games have become a habit for her, and this was her first of her senior season, part of a 14-hit Mount Ida attack.
Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) earned her second win of the season, tossing a complete game with seven strikeouts and allowing five hits.
Debra Mazzeo (Bloomfield, N.J.) took the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits in four innings pitched, while Marcheschi threw three innings in relief and each hurler struck out a pair of batters.
Game Two: Juniata 9, Mount Ida 1, 5 innings
The Eagles jumped early on Mount Ida, who just came off of their nearly two and a half hour game against New England College, and scored four runs in each of the first two innings to put themselves in position for the run-rule victory.
Mount Ida pulled a run back in the fifth when Microulis singled through the left side to score Lucianna Medici (Riverside, R.I.), who had done the same and then stole second.
The two through five batters each drove in a pair of runs for the Eagles, including second baseman Allie Baney (State College, Pa.), who ended the game with two hits and two runs scored as well, and third baseman Abby Ebright (Harrisburg, Pa.), who also scored twice herself.
Eagles' freshman Raeleigh Redden (Clearfield, Pa.) gave up seven hits and two walks, but stranded seven Mustang baserunners in picking up the win in her first collegiate start.
Jordan Wahrenberger (Shamong, N.J.) doubled home a run and drove in another with a sacrifice fly in a 1-1 showing at the plate for Juniata as well.
Kerigan Ammerman (Alexandria, Pa.) got the scoring started with a bases loaded single to right center that scored Baney and Alyssa Shedlock (State College, Pa.).
Most of the damage came off of Microulis, who saw her first action as a pitcher and fell to 0-1 in the circle. In her relief, Jessica Weiss (Great Neck, N.Y.), who had gotten her first collegiate hit in the opening game, allowed just one hit and an unearned run over two innings.
Tuesday sees the Mustangs head to Minneola for an 11:30 AM game against Sage College and a 2:00 PM game against Penn State Brandywine.