Marian softball off to fast start to open Florida trip

Gianna Esposito reaches second.

CLERMONT, Fla. - Marian University softball (6-4, 0-0 NACC) is off to a 5-1 start to open their spring trip with their lone loss coming against Transylvania.

The Sabres opened the PFX Spring Games with an 8-4 win over Finlandia and a 10-2 win over Smith in day one and swept day two as well defeating Minnesota-Morris 11-7 and Bethel in eight innings.  Transylvania then defeated Marian 10-0 in five innings to open the third day of action before bouncing back for a 10-1 win against Maine Farmington.

The Sabre offense has had an especially big start scoring 47 runs in the six games or 7.8 runs per game.  Defensively, the Sabres have recorded a .904 fielding percentage so far down in Florida.

Offensively, sophomore Gianna Esposito has led Marian going 8-18 (.444) on the trip so far with four runs batted in and seven runs scored.  After missing the opening weekend at the Finlandia Dome Classic, sophomore Ally Fox hasn't missed a step after her All-NACC selection last season hitting 8-21 (.381) with four runs batted in and a team-high eight runs scored.  Fox has also swiped six bags in six attempts. 

Not to be outdone by Fox, junior Lindsey Strainis leads the Sabre offense with six runs batted in hitting 7-20 (.350) with a .458 on base percentage.  Sophomore Taylor Lauscher and freshman Katy Croeker have each also driven in five runs so far on the spring trip.

In the circle, sophomore Paige Rauhut has started four games for Marian and has produced two complete games with a 2-1 record.  In her 24.2 innings of work, P. Rauhut has a 3.65 earned run average only allowing 26 hits with 21 strikeouts.  Freshman Myranda Schuttenhelm has also been in the circle for 5.1 innings of work amassing a 3.38 earned run average and is 1-0 after earning the victory against Bethel in extras.

Freshman Peyton Loesch has been a key contributor in the circle and in the batter's box hitting 6-17 (.353) with five driven in, while also throwing 9.0 innings with a pair of wins including a complete game victory over Smith.

Marian takes the day off tomorrow before doubleheader action against Gordon and Wesleyan (Conn.) Wednesday, March 14.  The Sabres take on the Scots at 3:30 p.m. (CDT) before the Cardinals at 6 p.m. (CDT).