CLERMONT, Fla. – The University of the Sciences softball team began its spring break trip in emphatic fashion, using a seven-run third inning to run-rule Saint Anselm 10-2 in five innings on Saturday afternoon.
USciences (2-4) then took an early lead on Missouri Saint Louis (8-8), a team ranked nationally in the preseason, thanks to Lauren Davis' two-run, first inning home run, before falling to the Tritons 7-4.
After Saint Anselm (5-4) tied the score at one in the bottom half of the first and five combined strikeouts in the second, Emily Torres highlighted the seven-run frame with her first career home run, a two-out grand slam to put an exclamation point on the offensive explosion.
A Davis walk loaded the bases once more, allowing Gina Pustizzi's base on balls to drive in a run.
A pitching change momentarily halted the momentum as the second out was recorded, but Madison LaPlante kept the frame alive for Torres with a single up the middle.
Harris went 2-for-3 and scored three times, including opening the scoring on Davis' two-out single in the first inning after walking and stealing a base.
Chisholm scored twice, and Kaitlyn Gaynor had two RBIs after a sacrifice fly plated Harris in the fourth to complete University of the Sciences' scoring.
Gaynor was also the starting pitcher and went the distance, surrendering just one earned run on seven hits. She struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Davis' home run scored Alexandria Jackson, who had kept the inning alive with a walk. The homer was part of a 2-for-3 performance for he sophomore, and she also walked.
Taking into account the first game, Davis finished the doubleheader 3-for-5 with three RBIs, two runs and two walks.
Harris and Pustizzi also reached base multiple times in both games.
Harris collected a hit and a walk for the second game in a row, while Pustizzi drew two base on balls.
After Davis' homer Missouri Saint Louis came right back with four runs in the top of the second, but Chisholm led off the bottom-half with a single and USciences quickly cut the deficit to one with Harris' triple.
However she was stranded at third, and the Tritons reestablished control with a two-run homer in the fourth.
Down 6-3, University of the Sciences brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the fifth when Harris, Davis and Pustizzi all worked walks, but the Devils were not able to capitalize.
Instead, Missouri Saint Louis led off the sixth with a home run, and Savanna Ruppert was brought on in relief. The freshman proceeded to throw two innings of scoreless one-hit ball without a walk.
USciences looked to take advantage in the bottom of the seventh and got one run back when Gaynor's pinch-hit single scored Ruppert, who had worked a one-out base on balls.
Gaynor was thrown out at second on the play though, ending the game instead of having the tying run come to the plate.
University of the Sciences continues its trip tomorrow with yet another doubleheader, taking on Seton Hill at 4:30 p.m. before playing University of Mary at 7 p.m.