After a sluggish start to their 2016 campaign, the defending Region 19 Champions are starting to hit their stride during their annual spring trip in Cocoa Beach, FL. Through three days, the Dukes are currently 5-2 on the trip, going 2-0 over NJCAA DIII teams and 3-2 against NJCAA DII competition.
Thursday March 10th
On their opening day in Florida, the Dukes split a pair of games against DII competition. In the first game of the day, the Dukes came from behind to edge Chesapeake College in extra innings 5-4. Trailing 5-3 entering the final frame, the Dukes scored two in the bottom of the seventh and then walked-off with the victory in the eighth. Carly DiDonna hit 3 for 5, scoring twice and Gabrielle Castellini went 2 for 3 including a Homerun and 2 RBIs. In the second game defeat to Parkland College, sophomore Lauren Tobolski went 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs.
Friday March 11th
The Dukes went 2-0 on the day with a doubleheader sweep over DIII Anoka-Ramsey CC. In Game 1, sophomore Rosalie LaGrotta tossed a complete game shutout. LaGrotta, the defending Region 19 Player of the Year, sprinkled six hits over those seven innings and struck out four Golden Rams in the 6-0 win. Courtney Weems hit 3 for 3, scoring a run and driving in two. Samantha Sleister, Danielle Cornman, Casey Kisielewski, and Tobolski all finished with two hits apiece. In Game 2, the Dukes sprung for eleven runs on eight hits in the 11-3 win. Elizabeth Carpani picked up the win on the mound. Tobolski led the way with a 3 for 4 performance, driving in 4 runs and scoring twice. Castellini and Weems each crossed the plate twice for the Dukes and DiDonna went 2 for 4, driving in a pair.
Saturday March 12th
Cumberland had a full day of softball, playing three games against DII opponents and finishing the day 2-1. The action started bright and early with 8:00 AM game with Waubonsee CC in which the Dukes secured another extra innings win 5-4. Cornman led the box score with a 3 for 3, 2 RBI morning. Cumberland followed that up with another 5-4 win over Chespeake College. Carpani put together two hits, and Cornman launched a three-run Homerun in the first inning. LaGrotta picked up two more wins for her work in the circle to give her a total of four wins on the trip.
The Dukes will have an off-day on Sunday before resuming action again on Monday March 14th. The schedule doesn't lighten up as they will play four out of their last six games on the trip against DII opponents (Kishwaukee College and Iowa Central CC). Keep current with Dukes Softball by checking out the Results as the games finish.