Softball Suffers Tough Weekend at Diamond Devil Invitational
TEMPE, AZ – The Howard Univ. softball team underwent a tough weekend, as they dropped five games at the Diamond Devil Tournament. The Bison suffered losses to Florida Gulf Coast, No. 7 Arizona St., Creighton, Campbell, and Virginia Tech. With the weekend skid, Howard slides to 3-13 on the season.
The Bison faced off against tournament hosts No. 7 Arizona State on Fri., in its first game of the weekend slate. HU dug an early hole – giving up six runs in the opening inning. The Bison answered in the bottom half of the frame when Lorae Robinson rounded the bases to put Howard on the scoreboard. ASU proved to be too much for the Bison as they pushed the margin to 11-1 after two complete innings. The Sun Devils recorded two more runs in the fourth for the 13-1 final.
Following the tough loss, the Bison played Florida Gulf Coast (11-15) for its first of a trio of Saturday games. Howard recorded two runs on three hits to take a quick 2-0 advantage over the Eagles in the top of the first. Christine Sborz led off with a double to left field before a Robinson single to the same side put runners on first and third. Robinson stole second and a sacrifice fly by Marissa Coats drove in Sborz. A ground out to second moved Robinson to the corner and then was knocked in by a Candace Rogers single.
Howard held FGCU scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Eagles scored three runs to take a slim 3-2 advantage. The Bison were unable to regain the lead as HU was only able to manage two hits over the next four innings.
Samantha Gatson took the loss on the mound – pitching a complete game – allowing just three hits while fanning seven batters.
In the second game, the Bison took an 8-0 shutout loss to Creighton (9-12). The Bluejays exploded for six runs in the bottom the second to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Rogers and Sborz notched the only hits for Howard, as the Bison were held scoreless for the fifth time this season.
For the final matchup of the day against Campbell (10-12), Sborz homered to lead off the game – her first of the season. A wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed Robinson to score from third to give the Bison a quick 2-0 lead heading into the bottom frame.
The Camels tied the game in the second. Pinch runner Katie Andrews scampered home with the team's first run, and then Katie Hinton walked to drive in Sarah Forgacs from third with the second run.
The Bison promptly took the lead back in the third inning. Coats walked, moved to second on a fielder's choice and third on the overthrow by the CU pitcher on the play. A wild pitch on the next pitch allowed Coats to score the team's third run. The Camels erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the frame and didn't look back.
The Bison added an unearned run in the top of the second as Sborz drew a one-out walk and dashed all the way around the bases on the single by Robinson and throwing error from the CU first baseman. The Camels kept the offensive show with five more runs in the fourth for the 15-4 final.
Howard wrapped up play at the Diamond Devil Invitational by dropping a 5-1 decision to Virginia Tech on Sunday. Robinson rounded the bases was knocked in on a Coats double to right center to give the Bison their only run of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Sborz saw her seven-game hit streak snapped as she was unable to connect her bat the entire game.
Howard softball now shifts its focus to the Cherry Blossom Classic hosted by George Mason from March 18-20.