MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomores Sam Bender (Levittown, Pa.) and Jillian Olmstead (Magnolia, Del.) allowed only four hits as the pitching tandem helped Ithaca defeat St. John Fisher 8-0 in a five inning contest at the 2012 NCAA Division-III Softball Willimantic Regional on Saturday afternoon.
Ithaca (32-13) moves on to face regional host and top seed Eastern Connecticut in the elimination game today at 6:30 p.m. St. John Fisher completes its season 34-14.
Ithaca junior Molly O'Donnell (Niskayuna, N.Y.) tripled to right field to plate freshman Francesca Busa (St. James, N.Y.) who led off the first with a single through the right side. Junior Jennifer Biondi (Rockaway, N.J.) followed with an RBI single down the left field line. Freshman Monica Capolongo (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) later utilized a run-producing hit through the left side of the infield before a fly out ended the frame.
The Cardinals left five runners stranded as Ithaca held a 3-0 lead after three innings.
Busa began a five-run outburst for the Bombers in the bottom of the fourth as she collected an RBI on the single up the middle. Sophomores Julianne Vincent (Stamford, Conn.) and Sydney Folk (Long Beach, N.Y.) then connected on back-to-back RBI singles to left field. Sophomore Rachel Dell'Orto (East Islip, N.Y.) then pushed the game to an 8-0 Ithaca advantage on a two-run knock to right center.
Dell'Orto batted 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI while Busa went 2-for-2 with an RBI, a run scored and a walk. For the tournament thus far, Busa leads the Bombers with a 667 batting average (6-for-9).
Senior Jennifer Vanek (Smithtown, N.Y.) collected a pair of hits on three chances as juniors Sarah Fordyce (Jordan, N.Y.) and Kayla Goodberlet (Columbus, Ohio) each notched a hit for the Cardinals.
Bender picks up her 18th win in 23 tries as she surrendered only three hits in the shutout as Olmstead allowed one hit in an inning of relief for the Bombers.
Junior Sarah Stefanon (Perry, N.Y.) was tagged with the loss (16-9) and shared time in the circle with classmate Danielle Leone (Manchester, Conn.).