Nicole Handzel breaks Mount Ida's season strikeout record in no-hitter
NEWTON, Mass. -- With her eighth strikeout of the game on Monday afternoon, Mount Ida freshman pitcher Nicole Handzel accomplished two incredible feats. She completed a no-hitter in a 6-0 victory versus Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) foe Albertus Magnus, and broke the Mount Ida single-season record with her 109th strikeout of the 2014 campaign.
Handzel came just one walk short of a perfect game, as she faced one batter over the minimum through seven innings of work and picked up her sixth victory of the season.
She also eclipsed the strikeout mark set twice by Devan Meeker, who had 108 strikeouts in 2010 as a freshman and 104 strikeouts in her junior season in 2012.
Game 1: Mount Ida 6, Albertus Magnus 0
The Mustangs got single runs in the second and fourth inning, then busted the game wide open with a four-run fifth and rode Handzel's brilliant pitching outing to the opening game victory.
Lucianna Medici, Emma Morton and Nickole Soto each had a pair of hits in the game, with Soto scoring a run and driving one in as well.
Gina Onorevole scored twice in the victory, including opening the scoring in the second when she came around on a double to left center by Morton.
Freshman Kaitlyn Muhlenforth chased home Soto two innings later with a bloop single down the right field line.
A passed ball and two errors helped the Mustangs put up four runs in the fifth inning, beginning with an RBI single from shortstop Kirsten Guerrero that was misplayed and turned into a pair of runs. Guerrero came across on the passed ball and Onorevole, who had reached on an error, came around to score on an RBI ground-out by Soto.
Freshman Brianna Longley fell to 7-5 with the loss, giving up six runs, three of them earned on ten hits in six innings.
Handzel saw her bid for a perfect game end when she issued a lead-off walk to Alyssa Puccilli in the top of the third.
She had struck out five batters through the first three innings, then tied the record by getting Megan Kelly in the sixth, and fanned shortstop Carli Matrisian swinging to end the game and complete the doubly historic feat.
Game 2: Albertus Magnus 8, Mount Ida 0 (5 innings)
The Mustangs settled for a split of their double-header after the Falcons put up a six-run third inning and capitalized on five Mount Ida errors.
Shyleen Ortiz was strong in the circle for the Falcons, pitching five shutout innings and allowing just three hits and no walks while collecting one strikeout.
Second baseman Rachel Cataudella drove in a pair of runs and was on base twice in the third inning, leading off with a walk and eventually scoring, and later driving an RBI single for the final run of the inning. She had previously plated the first run of the game for Albertus with an RBI single in the top of the first.
Catcher Elaina Maio did damage in the third inning as well with a two-run triple to right center.
The Mustang's best threat to score was in the bottom of the fourth, when Onorevole tripled with two outs, but Ortiz got Soto to ground out to third base to end the threat.
Morton singled to lead off the fifth, but she was erased, as Muhlenforth lined into a double-play.