TITUSVILLE, Fla. – The Waldorf College softball team opened its spring break trip with a pair of losses to Northwood University on Sunday.
The Seahawks (11-5-1) pulled out an 8-4 win over the Warriors (2-6) in the opener.
"It was a pretty well-contested game," Waldorf coach Denny Gilbertson said. "There were a couple of plays here and there that didn't go our way. That was the difference."
Junior Jessica Abrahamson led the Warriors, going 2-for-3 with a double.
Waldorf's Kaitlin Murphy went deep with a solo home run. She also drove in a run on a fielder's choice.
Northwood stringed together 11 hits. Cassidy Miller led the Seahawks with a pair of homers to finish 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Tara Coletti and Jaime Schiller added two hits apiece.
Waldorf manufactured three runs on three hits and was aided by an error in the top of the first inning. Senior Ashley Brandt scored the game's opening run as Murphy reached on a fielder's choice. Hupke later scored and Barger crossed home plate on Eden's single.
"Things started well," Gilbertson said.
Miller went yard with a solo shot in Northwood's half of the first inning.
"We made a mistake in the bottom of the first that got hit out the park by a girl we knew was extremely dangerous," Gilbertson said.
Murphy homered in the third, pushing the Warriors to a 4-1 lead. The solo shot was the second long ball of the season for the junior from Centralia, Ill.
"We were feeling pretty good up 4-1," Gilbertson said.
Things took a turn in the third as the Seahawks capitalized on Waldorf's miscues. The Warriors were unable to execute on routine defensive plays and Northwood generated four runs on five hits.
"In my mind, we gave them six outs that inning," Gilbertson said. "You can't give good teams any more than three. We could've minimized the damage quite a bit."
Nicole Lewis connected for a run-scoring single, jumpstarting the Seahawks in the third. Alex Hartley knocked in a run on a fielder's choice and Coletti belted a two-run single to lift Northwood to a 5-4 lead.
Schiller delivered an RBI single for the Seahawks in the fifth and Miller crushed a two-run homer in the sixth.
Waldorf senior Marisa Donnelly took the loss. Donnelly (0-3) issued three walks and allowed eight runs on 11 hits in five innings of work.
Freshman Kaylie Brindley closed out the sixth inning inside the pitcher's circle for the Warriors
Northwood's Nicole Granitto (4-2) gave up six hits in the win.
The Seahawks earned a 6-0 victory in Game 2.
"We struggled offensively to identify pitches that were in the strike zone," Gilbertson said. "We were swinging at balls out of the zone all day."
Meagan Flores did damage for Northwood. She went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBIs while accounting for half of her team's hits.
Flores smacked a two-run double in the top of the first and added a two-run single in the third. Allie Catapano and Hartley contributed RBI singles in the seventh.
Waldorf threatened late, loading the bases in the sixth. The Warriors left two runners on in the seventh and stranded eight runners in the loss.
Junior Maggie Hawley pitched a strong seven innings in the loss. Hawley (1-2) struck out seven batters, walked six and yielded six runs (four earned) while scattering six hits.
"I thought Maggie pitched a nice game," Gilbertson said. "She was just kind of victimized by some misplayed balls."
Misjudging the ball created setbacks for the Warriors.
"We didn't handle balls in the air very well," Gilbertson said. "We will be better at those things as the week goes on."
Waldorf continues its spring break trip on Monday, taking on NCAA Division II's Bloomfield College (4-0) in a 9 a.m. (EDT) twin bill at Titusville.
"We will regroup and hopefully there's a different result," Gilbertson said. "We've got to be better than we were today."