CLERMONT, Fla.—Senior right handed pitcher Lexie Pinkelman (Metamora/Evergreen) threw a complete game and hit a solo home run to lead the Heidelberg University softball team to season-opening victories against Fredonia State (N.Y.) University and New England (N.H.) College today at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. The Berg shutout FSU, 7-0, and defeated NEC, 20-2, in six innings.
Against FSU, Heidelberg (2-0) plated a single run in the bottom of the first inning before exploding for four runs in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead. The first four batters of the inning reached base, including a two-run batted-in double by sophomore third baseman Kelly Martz (Rossville, Mich./Lakeview) and an RBI single by senior first baseman Bessie Artino (Bellevue). After a pitching change, a single by sophomore second baseman Erica Huffman (Strongsville) moved freshman Megan Dragony (Brunswick), pinch running for Artino, to third base before freshman left fielder Ashley Kessler (North Olmsted) drove Dragony in with a ground ball to second base.
The Berg tallied two insurance runs in the fifth, and Pinkelman retired six of the last seven batters she faced to preserve the shutout.
At the plate, sophomore center fielder Jamie Wagner (Alvada/New Riegel) led the attack by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Huffman was 3-for-3 with an RBI. Artino was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Martz and Kessler also knocked in two runs.
Pinkelman surrendered just five hits and struck out five batters.
Against NEC, the Tri-Color plated a pair of runs in each of the first four innings, including a home run by Pinkelman to lead off the top of the third, to take an 8-2 lead into the fifth inning.
In the sixth, Heidelberg pounded out 12 runs on 10 hits and junior left hander Ali Sayre (Sylvania/Northview) closed the bottom of the sixth to end the game an inning early.
Offensively, the Berg pounded out 22 hits, led by sophomore left fielder Julie Okorn (Euclid), who went 4-for-5 with a double, four RBI and three runs scored. Six more had multi-hit games, including junior shortstop Bridget Moran (Lakewood/Senior), Wagner, Martz, Pinkelman, Huffman and Kessler. Pinkelman also drove in three runs.
On the mound, Sayre worked six innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits while fanning three batters.
The Berg returns to the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader against Bethany (W.Va.) College at 9 a.m. and SUNY – Geneseo at 11 a.m.