The University of Scranton softball team was unfazed on a cold and windy day Sunday, sweeping a Landmark Conference doubleheader from Elizabethtown at Magis Field. The Royals won by scores of 3-1 and 3-0 to improve to 19-5 (6-2 Landmark) on the season.
Morgan Rentzheimer (Allentown, Pa./Parkland) struck out a pair of batters in Sunday's opener to tie for Scranton's all-time record with 334 K's for her career. The senior also became the Royals' career leader in starts by a pitcher with the 66th start of her career. Rentzheimer broke Sarah Rhodes's record for career starts and is also tied with Rhodes (2001-2005) for the strikeout record.
In Sunday's first game, Scranton scored all three of its runs with two outs in the bottom of the third and Rentzheimer made the lead stand with a complete game victory.
The contest was scoreless through the first 2.2 innings before the Royals rattled off four straight hits while scoring three runs in the process.
Molly Hampsey (Tunkhannock, Pa./Tunkhannock) doubled home Mackenzie Duffy (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) with the game's first run before scoring on a single to left center from Megan Zinn (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan).
Jennifer Sweeney (Dumont, N.J./Dumont) brought home with a base hit to center to give Scranton the 3-0 advantage.
Elizabethtown (13-9, 2-6) threatened in the visitor's sixth, loading the bases with one out, but Rentzheimer worked out of trouble with a pair of groundouts.
The Blue Jays broke up Rentzheimer's shutout bid with one out in the top of the seventh and had the tying run on base with one out, but Rentzheimer closed out the game with two more ground outs.
Rentzheimer improved to 8-4 on the season by working around nine hits – all singles – while picking up the two strikeouts.
Zinn led the Royals with a pair of hits as the hosts totaled seven hits in the game one victory.
In Sunday's second contest, Scranton again scored all three of its runs with a trio of two-out runs in an inning, plating three runs in the home fourth. Sweeney made it stand with a complete game shutout as the Royals won 3-0.
Sweeney also got the fourth inning rally started with a two-out double and was pinch run for by Allie Hotchkiss (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Charles W. Baker), who scored the first run of the game on a double down the left field line from Casey DeSarno (Wall Township, N.J./Wall). Meaghan Dowdell (Parlin, N.J./Old Bridge) brought home DeSarno with a base hit before coming home with Scranton's third run on a Maggie Donnelly (New Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Mercy Academy) triple.
The Blue Jays put runners on second and third with one out in the top of the sixth, but Sweeney got a groundout and a strikeout to end the threat and the Royals would go on to get a game-ending double play the following inning to wipe out a leadoff single for Elizabethtown.
Sweeney improved to 10-1 on the season while scattering five singles while going the distance in the circle. The freshman struck out three batters while lowering her ERA to 1.01 on the season.
Dowdell led Scranton with a pair of hits as the hosts totaled eight hits in the game two victory.
Scranton will host Keystone in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday starting at 5:00 p.m. at Magis Field. The twinbill between the Royals and Giants was originally scheduled for Monday, but has been pushed back a day due to the forecast for heavy rain.