Guilford Softball Sweeps Susquehanna in Florida

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Guilford College extended its softball winning streak to six Wednesday with by sweeping previously unbeaten Susquehanna University at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.

Cynthia Hayes and Ami Hutcherson had eighth-inning RBIs to give Guilford a 2-0 opening-game win. Junior Jessica Burcham fanned a season-high 11 in the one-hit shutout, the school-record 15th whitewash of her career. Four sixth-inning runs broke open a tight game in Guilford’s 7-2 nightcap victory.

Burcham (6-0) and Susquehanna’s Cara Swerdlow (2-1) both pitched brilliantly in the opener. Swerdlow, a lefty, scattered four hits through seven innings and stranded Quakers on second and third with one out in the sixth. Guilford (10-4) took the lead in the top of the eighth after Autumn Yoder was placed on second due to the international tiebreak rule. Julie Langseth sacrificed her to third and Hayes plated her with a grounder to shortstop. Courtney Kozar kept the inning alive with a two-out base on balls, Swerdlow’s only walk of the game. Kozar took second after Swerdlow hit Kimberly Keys (2-3, 2B) with a pitch and scored in Hutcherson’s (2-4, RBI), bloop single to shallow left.

In the Crusaders’ eighth, Burcham retired the side in order and fanned the final two batters for 11 strikeouts in the game. She allowed Taylor Crawford’s leadoff single in the fifth and worked around three early walks, but was otherwise in control. Susquehanna (6-2) had four baserunners in the game, none of whom passed second base.

After a crisp opener, the second game started with a sloppy first inning, but settled down there after. Susquehanna’s Lisa Finizio led off the game with a bunt to Guilford first baseman Julie Langseth, who fired her throw into the right field corner, which allowed Finizio to score for a quick 1-0 Crusaders’ lead.

In the Guilford first, Susquehanna rookie Sarah Hoffman walked or hit four of the first five Quakers’ batters and two runs scored via passed balls. Both Hoffman (2-1) and Guilford freshman Ashley Boteler (3-0) settled down and the score remained 2-1 until Langseth hit her first homer of the season, a two-out solo shot to center in the fourth inning.

Susquehanna answered in the top of the fifth on Finizio’s RBI single, but Boteler stranded her at second, one of five Crusaders left on base. The Quakers strung together four straight hits with two out in the home sixth, including Hayes’ two-run triple and run-scoring singles by Langseth and Courtney Kozar.

Guilford concludes its spring-break strip Thursday (3/11) against Thomas College and Cedar Crest College.

Guilford 2, Susquehanna 0 (Mar 09, 2011 at Kissimmee, Fla.) (Game 1)
Guilford............ 000 000 02 -  2  5  0      (9-4)
Susquehanna......... 000 000 00 -  0  1  1      (6-1)

Pitchers: Guilford – Jessica Burcham and Morgan Andrews. Susquehanna – Cara Swerdlow and Liz Beecroft.
Win-Jessica Burcham(6-0) Loss-Cara Swerdlow(2-1)
T-1:38 A-50
Weather: 77, cloudy
Game notes:
Nonconference game

Guilford 7, Susquehanna 2 (Mar 09, 2011 at Kissimmee, Fla.) (Game 2)
Susquehanna......... 100 010 0 -  2  4  2      (6-2)
Guilford............ 200 104 X -  7  6  2      (10-4)

Pitchers: Susquehanna – Sarah Hoffman and Brittany Devlin. Guilford – Ashley Boteler and Morgan Andrews.
Win-Ashley Boteler(3-0) Loss-Sarah Hoffman(2-1) T-1:30 A-50
HR GC – Julie Langseth.
Weather: 80, partly cloudy, breezy
Game notes:
Nonconference game