Two two-run home runs by Iona proved to be the difference as the Gaels survived a furious late Blue Hose rally to take the 5-3 win over the Presbyterian College softball team in the opening game of the day at the Furman/USC Upstate Classic, being held Feb. 18-19 in Greenville Spartanburg, S.C.

Blue Hose Player of the Game
Rebekka Gross and Presley Bissett each recorded two hits in the game, with Bissett recording her second double of the young season.

How It Happened
Iona got on the board first, with a two-run home run in the first inning by Tori Danner. She plated Ashlyn Morris, who had reached on a single just before. The Gaels went up 4-0 with another two-run home run in the top of the third, this one by Kimmie Chiapparelli which brought in Ciarra DiGuilion who had gotten on base off a fielder’s choice.

PC responded with three runs in the bottom of the third. After Hope Rogers and Megan Anderson drew walks to open the frame, Rebekka Gross bunted back to the pitcher to advance the runners. There was an error on the play, resulting in the runners advancing again and bringing in the first run. A sacrifice bunt by Blaire Miller scored the inning’s second run, with a bases loaded walk helping PC cut the lead to one, 4-3.

Iona took a two-run lead the top of the fourth off a Rebecca Gabert sacrifice fly, with PC rallying in the seventh, loading the bases off a Gross single, a Presley Bissett double, and a Kelsie Sanchez walk, with two outs to go, but could not get a run across to fall by the final 5-3 score.

Final Lines
Iona finished with five runs, six hits, and one error, while PC posted three runs, six hits, and two errors.

Katie Brown (1-3) started for PC, going 3.0 innings and surrendering five runs off six hits, with two strikeouts. Natasha Sherrod, in relief for 4.0 innings, surrendered no runs and no hits with one strikeout. Alana Evans (1-0) went 4.2 innings for Iona, giving up three runs and three hits, with six strikeouts. In relief Jessica Harkness went 2.1 innings and strike out two, while giving up three hits and no runs for the save (1).

Notables
Hope Rogers, who had not hit one triple in her first three seasons, has now collected three in the first seven games after collecting on in the bottom of the sixth inning.

PC equaled its most runs of the season with three against Iona.

The six hits were a season-high for PC.

For the Record
PC drops to 1-5, while Iona moves to 0-3

Up Next
The Blue Hose head to Spartanburg, S.C., Sunday, Feb. 19, to face Iona at 11 a.m., and host USC Upstate at 1 p.m.

How to follow
Fans can follow all games at www.GoBlueHose.com, and @presbysb.