NEW BRITAIN, CONN. -- The Mount Ida College pitching and defense did all they could to keep the Mustangs within reach of University of Saint Joseph, but the Mustangs couldn't find the offense they needed to break through and were handed a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball defeats by the Bluejays at Central Connecticut State University Softball Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Mustangs fall to 7-10 on the year and 1-3 in the GNAC, while the red-hot Bluejays have now won eight in a row and are 11-5 overall and 6-0 in conference play.
Game 1: USJ 2, Mount Ida 0
The Bluejays got two runs in the bottom of the first and that was all of the offense they would need, as freshman Amaria Sharon (Tolland, Conn.) allowed just three hits and struck out four batters without issuing a walk.
Sharon was also the driving force behind the offense, as her two run double down the left field line was the key hit in the game, scoring Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) and Morgan Skoly (Vernon, Conn.).
Mount Ida senior Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) took the tough loss, giving up five hits and two earned runs with five strikeouts over six innings of work.
Skoly and Sharon each doubled for USJ, as did freshman Megan Ricci (Center Moriches, N.Y.).
Game 2: USJ 2, Mount Ida 1
Mount Ida jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Emma Morton (Winchester, Mass.) doubled, advanced to third on a single by Keeliey Zompetti (Hudson, Mass.) and scored on a sacrifice fly by Medici.
The Bluejays tied the game on a double by Russo and a single by Sharon in the bottom of the fourth and then took the lead when Skoly singled up the middle to score Kara Klimaszewski (Naugatuck, Conn.), who had led off the bottom of the fifth with a double.
Sharon tossed another gem, giving up just one earned run and striking out four more batters while still not issuing a free pass.
Handzel was again strong in defeat for Mount Ida, striking out eight batters without a walk and giving up two runs on five hits.
Mount Ida will next host Rivier University on Wednesday, April 12th at 3 PM in another conference twinbill.
USJ's next game is on Wednesday as well, with a doubleheader at Albertus Magnus at the same time.