DUBUQUE – Coming off a lengthy 12-game homestand, the Ashford softball team hit the road Tuesday afternoon and split a pair of games against Clarke.
After falling behind by a pair of runs in the first game, the Saints rallied for two runs in the fifth to send the game to extra innings before picking up a 3-2 victory in nine innings. The hosts got revenge in Game 2, bouncing back for a 7-2 victory.
After the first 12 Saints batters were retired, Ashford (19-19) got back to even with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth on two-out singles from Taylor Ellestad and Payton Geeting.
Ashford put runners on second and third in the seventh but was unable to push the go-ahead run across the dish. But, Brianna De La Rosa delivered the winning RBI with one out in the top of the ninth, singling home Siera Spahiu from third.
Nicole Schmidt (13-8) set the Crusaders down in order in the ninth to pick up the win. The junior pitcher walked one, struck out three and scattered nine hits in a complete-game win.
Clarke jumped on Ashford starter Shelby Yepsen for one run in the first and a pair of tallies in the second to take the early 3-0 lead in Game 2. Ashford never caught up but got within two in the top half of the fourth courtesy of a Natalia Reynoso run-scoring groundout.
The Crusaders answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the sixth to stretch the lead to 7-1. Ashlee Amador brought home a run with two outs in the top of the seventh for the Saints, but the game was over one batter later when Marissa Thornburg grounded out the end the game.