Softball captures series win over Holy Cross

By Stephen Waldman Army Athletic Communications

March 28th, 2019 | Army and Community Sports, Sports
 Sophomore leftfielder Taylor Drayton led Army West Point to victory with a solo blast in the second inning of Game 2 versus Holy Cross to help the Black Knights to a 2-1 victory and a doubleheader split Sunday at the Army Softball Complex. Photo by Army Athletic Communications

The Army West Point Softball team split its first Patriot League double header of the season against Holy Cross to earn a series victory Sunday at the Army Softball Complex.
Army outlasted the Crusaders in the series finale, 2-1, to capture the series victory following a 2-0 Holy Cross win in the first game behind freshman Kelly Nelson’s first career no-hitter to force a rubber match.
Sophomores leftfielder Taylor Drayton and shortstop Ally Snelling, along with senior rightfielder Izzy Gates, led the Army offense with a hit apiece.
Drayton provided the big blast with a solo home run, while Snelling doubled.
In the circle, senior pitcher Renee Poirier tossed a complete game in the night cap, allowing just three hits and a run while not issuing a walk.
Rookie pitcher Jolie Duong went 5.1 innings in game one and struck out five.

GAME 1: Holy Cross 2, Army 0
How it happened
• The Crusaders struck first with an RBI single by Taylor Wahler in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead.
• Holy Cross added to its lead in the sixth inning when it strung together three hits to take a two-run advantage.
• Erin Bengston provided the biggest of those three hits with an RBI single to center.

Army highlights and game notes
• Duong threw her ninth complete game of the season.

Game 2: Army 2, Holy Cross 1
How it happened
• Drayton handed Army the first lead of the game with the team’s first hit of the afternoon.
• The Clayton, North Carolina, native blasted the first pitch of the second inning clear over the center field wall to put the Black Knights up, 1-0.
• Holy Cross tied the game in the top of the fourth, but Gates returned fire in the home half to retake the lead for Army.
• Poirier and the Black Knights’ defense held the Crusaders in check for the rest of the game to preserve the victory.

Army highlights and game notes
• Drayton blasted her second home run of the season and fourth of her career.
• The Clayton, North Carolina, native scored her 25th career run.
• Snelling slugged her fifth double of the year.
• Poirier tossed her first complete game of the season and 31st of her career.

Coach’s corner
• Interim head coach Bob Beretta—“It was nice to come away with a series victory today. We didn’t manage much offense all weekend, but we were able to register two wins which is a good sign. I thought we received terrific pitching all weekend long. Macey was outstanding yesterday, and Jolie and Renee both pitched well today.”
• “It was great to see Renee perform so well in his first extended effort of the season. I’ve said all along that she will play a large role in this team’s success, and she’s just starting to return to form after missing the first few weeks as she recovered from an injury. She was sharp today and really battled throughout. It was also nice to see Taylor Drayton break out offensively. She absolutely crushed the home run and then was robbed of another extra-base hit on a phenomenal catch by (Jackie) Brewster in deep center field.”
• “It would have been nice to capture bot games today, but Nelson is very tough and deserved to win that first game. Overall, I was pleased to come out of the weekend with two wins.”