Minneola, FL |   The Dolphins opened their 2019 season with a pair of defeats at The Spring Games in Florida today, dropping the day’s first game to Nebraska-Wesleyan, 6-0, before falling to Bowdoin College,6-4.  CSI begins the year 0-2.  Nebraska Wesleyan improved to 6-3 with their victory and Bowdoin makes it two consecutive wins to open their 2019 campaign.

In a game in which the Dolphins’ failed to plate a run, the Wolves put up six runs in the opener, including three in the opening stanza to set the tone early.  CSI failed to provide any run support for Jaclyn Kateridge who was making her first career start.  Despite the difficult beginning to her outing, Kateridge settled down in the middle innings and made it through five frames.  The three first-inning runs were too much for the Dolphins to overcome as they only had one hit for extra-bases in the game.  Three of the Dolphins’ hits belonged to Patricia Riches, but the Dolphins were unable to convert on any of their chances with a runner in scoring-position.  Ultimately, the limited chances led to the lop-sided final score.

Kateridge’s debut for CSI in the circle got off to a shaky start.  A leadoff single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with nobody out.  With the bases full, Kateridge was able to induce a sharply hit ground ball which the Dolphins elected to throw home rather than attempting to turn the double play.  The decision initially paid off as they recorded the out at home.  

However, the Dolphins couldn’t keep the Prarie Wolves off the board any longer as another passed ball allowed the game’s first run to score.   The ball was then tossed over the head of Kateridge by Sierra Kaplanek trying to cut down the runner at the plate.  This allowed a second run to score and left a runner on third with one out in a 2-0 game.  The Prarie Wolves would add one more on a one-out single before the inning ended on a double play, making it 3-0 through the first half-inning.

The lone first-inning Dolphins base runner was Patricia Riches who singled, one of three hits for Riches in three at-bats.  With the Dolphins retired quickly NWU got right back into the run column in the top of the second on another Dolphins’ wild pitch.  From here Kateridge would settle down in the circle and post consecutive scoreless innings in the third and fourth.

Despite Kateridge finding her command in the circle, the Dolphins simply couldn’t solve Prarie Wolves starter Grace Sommer.  CSI picked up a single in innings two, three and four, but failed to bring any of those base-runners home which sent them into the fifth inning trailing 4-0.

In the top of the fifth, a pair of bunt singles and a wild pitch set NWU up with runners on the corners and nobody out.  A sacrifice fly brought in their fifth run.  Two batters later, a pinch hit RBI single by Ashlee Mayorga made it 6-0.  This spelled the end for Kateridge who allowed six runs, four earned, along with five hits, three walks, and two costly wild pitches.

Vanessa Porto pitched a scoreless sixth before Riches picked up her third base hit in the bottom half of the inning.  Once again, the Dolphins did not score.  After another zero was put up on the scoreboard by Porto, the Dolphins picked up their first extra-base-hit of the game to lead off the seventh, a pinch-hit double for Alexa Venditti.  Once again the Dolphins failed to cash in, stranding a runner on third to close the game, a 6-0 defeat.

Jaclyn Kateridge took the loss for the Dolphins while Grace Sommer picked up her second win of the season.  Riches started off her 2019 strong with three base hits in the game, but it wasn’t enough to propel the Dolphins’ offense back into a game in which they trailed by three after one.

CSI got off to a hot start in their matchup with the Bears, pushing across three first inning runs to jump out to an early lead.  From there Bowdoin would battle back scoring two in the third and one in the fourth against Jaclyn Kateridge to knot things up at 3-3.  In the next half-inning, CSI would take the lead right back as a Riches double followed by an errant throw allowed Riches to advance to third base on the error.  With Riches on third, Claudia Porcaro drove her home with a grounder to the left side putting the Dolphins back in front 4-3.  After for innings of work from starter Kateridge, the Dolphins turned to Vanessa Porto in relief for the 5th, an inning which saw the Bears plate a pair to go back ahead 5-4.  The Bears added one more in the 6th against Porto, and though the Dolphins would bring the tying run to the plate in the 7th, they failed to score and dropped their second game of the day 6-4.

Jaclyn Kateridge, making her second start of the day appeared to have found a rhythm in the circle in the middle innings of her earlier outing.  She managed to carry that into the early innings of game two as she kept the Bears off the scoreboard for the first two innings, escaping a bases loaded jam in the first.  

Unlike in the early game, the Dolphins gave Kateridge the run support she was lacking in the morning matchup, scoring three first-inning runs against Bears starter Kate Hoadley.  A walk and back-to-back singles loaded the bases for Porcaro who drew a walk to bring the first Dolphins run home.  A Kaplanek single brought home two more giving the Dolphins the early lead, 3-0.

Neither team would score again until the bottom of the third when the Bears plated a pair on consecutive doubles to make it 3-2.  The Bears would tie the game in the bottom of the fourth as the result of a sixth inning unearned run on a dropped fly ball in deep left field.  The next half-inning saw the Dolphins jump back in front on an unearned run of their own following a Riches double and error which allowed her to advance to third base.  With Riches on third, Porcaro drove in the go-ahead run with a ground out making it 6-4.

In the fifth Vanessa Porto came on in relief of Kateridge and was able to retire two of the first three Bears to face her.  However, she then issued back-to-back base hits, one of which was a bunt single, allowing the tying run to score.  Porto’s second walk of the inning then loaded the bases for Katelyn Cox who drew the Bears’ third walk of the inning to put them up, 5-4.

The Dolphins were retired in order in the sixth before the Bears added one more in their half of the inning on a Caroline Ric double. This put the Bears up 6-4, but one run was all of the insurance they would need.  

Attempting to close the two-run gap in the seventh, CSI got a leadoff single from Antoinette Galbo, bringing Patricia Riches to bat as the tying run.  After a battle with Hoadley, who went on to pick up the complete game victory, Riches fouled out to third base for the first out.  The next two Dolphins were set down in order bringing the final inning, and day one of The Spring Games, to a close.

Porto picked up the loss for the Dolphins allowing three runs and walking four in relief, while Hoadley earned the victory for the Bears in her first start of the season.  She went the distance allowing four runs, three earned, on six base-hits while walking and striking out four.  For CSI, Jaclyn Kateridge also allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits through four innings of work.  For the second consecutive game, Riches had three hits while Galbo contributed a pair of hits as well.  Several Bears had multiple hits in the game as well, and they outhit CSI 10-to-6 overall.

The Dolphins are right back at it tomorrow with another pair of games against Susquehanna and UMass Dartmouth.  The first game begins at 9:00 with game two to immediately follow at approximately 11:15.