Pagano Perfection: Hurler Tosses Perfect Game To Lift Softball Past Rhode Island, 8-0
BALTIMORE, Md. – Nicole Pagano (Berlin, N.J./St. Joseph) tossed a five-inning perfect game to lift Mount St. Mary's past Rhode Island 8-0 at the UMBC Spring Classic in non-conference softball action on Friday.
Pagano faced 15 batters and retired all 15 batters on eight strikeouts, three fly outs and four ground outs. The redshirt sophomore threw 43 strikes of her 64 pitches and helped the Mount (6-14) to the victory in just 65 minutes. Pagano notched her second no-hitter in seven days after tossing a five-inning no-hitter against UMBC on Mar. 10.
Holly Buckel (Finksburg, Md./North Carroll) had her up the middle stroke down on the evening after recording three singles up the middle along with two runs scored and an RBI. Erin Leddy (Great Mills, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) went 2-for-3 with three RBIs including a two-run homer while Cat Clifford (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./John Jay) also went 2-for-3 with one RBI and a run scored in the winning effort.
Mount St. Mary's scored two runs in the first, and three runs in the third and fourth to earn its second win against the Rams (6-12) after the five-inning, 65-minute victory.
Buckel started the rally in the first with a single up the middle and then she stole second and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Maria Santiago (Buena, N.J./Buena Regional). The Rams' hurler then went to make a pitch to Liz Christiansen (Etters, Pa./Red Land) when she tossed the ball toward second base instead of the dish during her windup for a ball as Buckel scurried home for the game's first run on the wild pitch. Christiansen walked and touched home Leddy's single up the middle for a 2-0 edge after the first inning.
In the third, Santiago reached on a fielder's choice trying to move Buckel over to second after the freshman singled to lead off the third. Santiago then stole second and came around to score on Clifford's double off the bottom of the center field fence. Leddy then hit a booming two-run homer high off the center field netting to give Mount St. Mary's a 5-0 advantage after three innings.
The Mount then put the game away in the fourth. Taylor Beebe (Olympia, Wash./Capital) led off the stanza by reaching when she was hit with the pitch. After Alexa Tuck (Chester, Va./Thomas Dale) bunted Beebe over to second, Chloe Mizianty (Carlsbad, Calif./Carlsbad) singled to shortstop. Buckel plated Beebe with her third single up the middle while a Rhode Island error allowed the runners to move up a base. After a tag out at the plate, Christiansen singled to right center to score Buckel and Santiago for an 8-0 lead. Clifford then hit a rocket shot down the third base line to put runners on second and third to bring up Leddy. The junior then nearly had a perfect 3-for-3 performance except left fielder Megan Congro ended the threat and Leddy's chance at a perfect hitting game with a highlight diving catch.
Mount St. Mary's returns to action on Saturday at the UMBC Spring Classic. The Mount will battle Northeast Conference foe Sacred Heart in a rare in-season non-conference contest. First pitch is 3:45 p.m.