Lacey Clark’s late three-run home run helped Hofstra softball complete a CAA sweep over UNC Wilmington (UNCW) with a 4-0 victory Sunday afternoon in North Carolina, improving to 7-4 in CAA play and 18-17 overall.
“She had the right pitch and the right opportunity. It was great to see her get a hold of that,” said Hofstra head coach Larissa Anderson.
Clark’s sixth home run of the season came in the top of the seventh inning with the Pride clenching on to a close 1-0 lead – a run scored earlier in the inning by Kristin Hallam on a wild pitch.
UNCW starter Peyton Jordan had a 1-2 count on Clark, but the Hofstra second baseman had other ideas despite being down in the count.
The senior turned on Jordan’s screwball and smacked a high fly ball over the left field fence to give her team insurance heading to the final frame for UNCW.
Clark finished 2-for-4 Sunday, raising her batting average to over .300 after entering the game with a 2-for-17 skid the past five games.
Freshman Sarah Cornell snagged her 14th win of the year in Sunday’s matchup, tossing 6.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts, three walks and six hits.
“Cornell threw an unbelievable game,” Anderson said.
“[She] hit key spots to both sides of the plate. [She] really did an unbelievable job keeping them off balanced.”
Cornell appeared in all three games this series, collecting two wins in the process.
In 16.1 innings this weekend, she allowed just one earned run, which has dropped her season earned run average to 2.98.
She, however, did not finish the game Sunday.
Alyssa Irons came in to relieve for Hofstra in the home half of the seventh inning in a very dicey situation.
The Seahawks began the inning having reached base on back-to-back errors from the Pride, followed by a bunt single two batters later.
With one out and the bases loaded, freshman Irons replaced Cornell in a make-or-break nail-biting spot.
Building up anticipation at Boseman Field, the first pitch she threw missed the strike zone for a ball.
Irons quickly adjusted, however, and got Merritt Wilkinson to fly out in the infield, keeping all baserunners at bay.
Then, with two outs, Irons managed to get Lauren Moore to do the same as her teammate in the previous at-bat, an infield pop out – this one to end the game.
“I have complete confidence in her, putting her in a situation with the bases loaded,” Anderson said.
Hofstra compiled six hits in the game. Clark and Hallam had two hits while Brielle Pietrafesa and Brittany Allocca logged one each.
The Seahawks also put together six hits in the box score.
Nine hitter Kelsey Bryan finished 3-for-3 while Wilkinson, Moore and Nella Chamblee each picked up one hit.
Hofstra returns to action April 19 in a mid-week tune-up against Stony Brook University at Bill Edwards Stadium before a three-game set against Elon University this weekend. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. vs. the Seawolves.