WASHINGTON, D.C. – Junior pitcher Jessica Cherness (Torrance, Calif.) battled for seven innings and struck out eight batters in game one but the Brown softball team fell to St. Francis (Pa.), 4-2, and Manhattan, 12-0 in five innings, at the Capital Invitational on Saturday.
For Brown (2-11), sophomore Jamie Pospishil (Wayne, N.J.) smacked a pinch-hit RBI double in the opener and went 1-for-2 after earning the start in game two. Junior Trista Chavez (San Pedro, Calif.) batted 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI against the Red Flash, while freshman Casey Fisher (Oro Valley, Ariz.), sophomore Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ontario) and senior Jen Kries (Mission Viejo, Calif.) each singled.
The Bears scored a run in each of the last two innings but could not overcome a 4-0 deficit against St. Francis. Cherness retired eight of the first nine batters she faced before running into trouble in the third. Two walks put Red Flash runners on first and second with two outs and Alexis Bower drove them both in with a single to right center.
Cherness settled down and cruised through the St. Francis order until the top of the sixth when Chelsy Cosentino knocked a one-out single through the left side and Sabrie Neeb multiplied the Red Flash lead with a two-run homer. Taylor Parsons followed with a triple to center but a strikeout and popup ended the inning.
The Brown bats got rolling in the sixth as Fisher led off with an infield single and moved to second on a fielder's choice. Fisher ran into an out on a ground ball but Chavez was not deterred, lacing a double to right center to plate the Bears' first run. Cherness threw up a zero in the seventh and put Brown in position to rally from a 4-1 hole, which the Bears attempted to do as a walk and an error found runners on first and third with one out. Pospishil roped a double down the right field line to make it 4-2, but a grounder and a lineout ended the threat and the game.
Manhattan slugged 11 hits to score 12 runs and put Brown away in five innings in the nightcap, beginning with a four-spot in the bottom of the first. A one-out double and a hit batter gave way to an error and three singles that pushed across four runs for the Jaspers. A double and a fielding miscue made it 5-0 in Manhattan's favor through two innings, and although Pospishil broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single in the third, the Jaspers posted five more runs in the bottom half on a double and back-to-back home runs.
Manhattan tacked on two more in the fourth on a double to left center, prompting Cherness to come in from the bullpen and quickly record three outs for a shutout frame.
Brown returns to action tomorrow with a rematch against St. Francis at 10 a.m. and a tilt against host squad George Washington at 12:45 p.m.