Marian sweeps day three of Gene Cusic Classic

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Marian University softball (9-1, 0-0 NACC) improved to a perfect 6-0 record at the Gene Cusic Classic with a 3-0 win over UMass-Dartmouth and an 8-5 win over Brockport.

The Marian offense struggled in the opening game of the day as they would only manage one hit but the Sabres were able to ride senior Shannon Huray (5-1) to a 3-0 win.

Marian took advantage of a pair of Corsair errors to take the lead in the top of the first.  Freshman Ally Fox opened the game reaching on an error that allowed her to advance to second before fellow freshman Gianna Esposito brought her in reachng on an error as well.

UMass-Dartmouth looked prime to knot the game up in the bottom of the second but Huray would work around a pair of singles and a walk to leave the bases loaded.

Another pair of Corsair errors in the top of the fifth then allowed the Sabres to extend their lead.  Sophomore Rachel Soch would reach and be moved over by a sacrifice bunt from Fox before fellow sophomore Olivia Hartley brought her in.  Esposito then drove a ground-rule double for the only Marian hit of the game to bring in Hartley.

Huray would only allow one hit in her final 2.0 innings to close out a four-pitch shutout that saw her strike out five hitters.

The Sabres struck early and often to open game two of the day against Brockport scoring six runs in the first four innings.

Esposito opened the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the first and senior Nicole LaBeck walked with the bases loaded two batters later to put MU ahead 2-0.  Brockport managed to cut the Sabre lead in half in the bottom half of the inning but the Sabre bats stayed hot.

Hartley continued her streaky hitting in the top of the second driving in Soch and the next inning senior Tiffani Castillo brought in fellow senior Sara Terrian to put the Sabres up 4-1.  In the fourth inning, Esposito drove in a pair of runs with a single that brought in Hartley and sophomore Lindsey Strainis.

The Golden Eagles fought back scoring a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings, but it was another pair of runs from Marian in the top of the sixth that provided enough cushion.  Strainis and Hartley used back-to-back doubles to bring in the first run of the inning and Terrian capped off the inning with a double herself to close out the scoring.

Freshman Paige Rauhut (4-0) threw 6.0 innings of eight-hit ball only allowing three earned runs, while Huray finished the game with a perfect seventh for her second save of the year.

Hartley and Terrian each had three hits to lead the Sabre offense, while Esposito finished the game with three runs batted in.

Marian takes tomorrow off before playing UW-Superior at 8 a.m. (CDT) and Castleton at 10 a.m. (CDT) Friday, March 17.