Queens, N.Y. - Senior pitcher Erin Wade allowed two runs in five innings, junior Olivia Galati picked up the final six outs in relief and Hofstra scored two runs off an error in the sixth for a 3-2 victory over St. John's on a gloomy Wednesday afternoon at Red Storm Field.
Junior Nicole Osovski drove in Hofstra's first run, helping the Pride improve to 26-13 with its 24th victory in the last 26 games. The Pride are now leading the series against St. John's, 31-12-1. The Red Storm fell to 15-29.
improved to 7-8, holding St. John's to just a pair of runs on nine hits with
four strikeouts. Galati,
who entered the day with just one earned run allowed in her last 50 innings,
got Hofstra out of a jam holding a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth.
St. John's put runners on the corners, starting the frame with a double and single with no outs. Hofstra head coach Bill Edwards then put Galati in relief of Wade and the West Babylon, N.Y. native struck out her first two batters.
Chrissy Montez homered earlier in the game for St. John's and came to the plate with the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base, but Galati forced the second baseman to line out to short to stand the runners. Galati then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to register her third save, striking out three of the six batters faced.
With the scored tied at 1 in the bottom of the fifth, St. John's loaded the bases with one out via two singles and a walk. Wade then faced St. John's home-run leader Kacee Cox, engaging in an eight-pitch at-bat before Cox worked a walk to force in Michelle Tilson for a 2-1 lead. Cox's RBI was the 140th of her career, tying her for the St. John's all-time record.
St. John's reliever Ashley Beza escaped one jam but the Pride answered with two runs in the top of the six. Crews worked a leadoff walk and advanced to third on two wild pitches. After a pop out, Tori Rocha also walked and freshman pinch hitter Erin Trippi reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases.
Beza then induced a comebacker to the mound to get the force play at the plate for the second out. St. John's appeared to get out the jam when junior Rachael Senatore hit a grounder to second. Montez bobbled the ball and hurried her toss to first with the speedy Senatore racing down the line, forcing a wide throw that allowed Rocha and Trippi to score for a 3-2 Hofstra lead.
Galati then ended Wade's strong effort to secure the victory. Galati, who has a 17-game winning streak, picked up her first save since March 27.
St. John's raced to a strong start when Montez pulled a leadoff home run to left. Wade settled down after allowing another single, getting a strikeout and escaping the inning via a line-out double play.
Just like in the previous day's contest in a win over Fordham, the Pride erased an early deficit when Osovski's RBI fielder's choice brought in senior Courtney Crews to tie the score at 1 in the top of the second.
Junior Becca Bigler had a chance to put the Pride ahead with the bases loaded later in the frame and the shortstop hit a hard line drive through the box. But St. John's starter Fran Carrullo snared the comebacker to end the threat and keep the score tied.
Carrullo gave way to Beza in the top of the fourth in a predetermined pitching change. Following a scoreless fourth, Bigler got Hofstra's first hit off the righty when she lined a double over centerfielder Kelsey Moyer's head for a one-out double. Beza induced a ground out and a ended the inning with a strikeout to end the threat.
Hofstra will resume Colonial Athletic Association play on Saturday with a doubleheader at James Madison starting at noon. The first-place Pride (11-0) will play the second-place Dukes (10-2) in a three-game series.--