SYRACUSE, N.Y. – University of New Haven freshman softball pitcher Nicole King (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) threw her first collegiate no-hitter with 13 strikeouts in the nightcap of a two-game sweep of Le Moyne College Saturday afternoon. The rookie is the first to throw a no-hitter at UNH since Alana Wesche (Oxford, Conn./Naugatuck) did on April 25, 2011.
Photo provided by Charger Athletics
The Chargers took the opening game, behind great pitching from senior Micah Stonesifer (Archer City, Texas/Archer City / Vernon College), 3-2, in 10 innings. King’s no-hitter came in a 6-0 shutout in game two.
New Haven improved to 24-8 overall and 7-3 in the Northeast-10 Conference Southwest Division. The Dolphins fell to 10-13 overall and 4-6 in divisional play with the two losses.
The Chargers fell behind early in the opener of the four-game set in Syracuse, N.Y. The Dolphins scored two runs off two hits in the bottom of the second inning to take the advantage. New Haven was then held scoreless for the next five innings. UNH managed just six base runners with three in scoring position during the stretch. Defensively, with solid pitching from Micah Stonesifer (Archer City, Texas/Archer City / Vernon College), the Chargers also held Le Moyne scoreless through the next five innings. She struck out six batters and allowed just six base runners. Also contributing to the defensive effort was catcher Brooke Fisher (Erial, N.J./Camden Catholic) who gunned down two base runners during the five inning span.
In the top of the seventh, Meghan Chamoff (Roslyn Heights, N.Y./Herricks) led off with an infield single to the third baseman. Two batters later, Christina Gelardi (Derby, Conn./Derby) went opposite field with a homerun to even the score at 2-2. UNH retired the side in the bottom of the seventh and the game went into extra innings.
Both teams managed three base runners in the eighth and ninth innings, but no runs and the game headed into the 10th inning. With the speed-up rule in effect, Erika Williams (Oneida, N.Y./Oneida) opened the 10th at second base. Two sacrifice hits later, and the Chargers took a 3-2 lead. Keri Tricinelli (Brick, N.J./Monsignor Donovan) hit the eventual game-winning sacrifice foul fly to right field to drive in Williams.
In the bottom of the 10th, Le Moyne advanced its runner to third off a groundout, but Stonesifer threw her 12th strikeout of the game and Jess Spivey (Holland, Pa./Council Rock) grabbed an unassisted groundout to seal the extra-inning win for UNH.
Gelardi went 2-for-3 with two RBI and one run, while reaching base on 4-of-5 total at-bats. Spivey went 2-for-4 and Chamoff went 1-for-3 with one run scored.
Stonesifer improved to 9-4 on the season with the complete game victory, her ninth of the season. She allowed seven hits and two runs while walking four and fanning 12.
Freshman pitcher Nicole King (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) threw her first collegiate no-hitter for the Chargers in the nightcap. The Front Royal, Va. native fanned 13 of the 26 batters she faced and walked just two. In her eighth win of the season, she also fanned six of the 13 batters looking.
With no runs in the first two innings, the nightcap went into the third tied 0-0. In the top of the third, Spivey laid down a sacrifice bunt to drive in the Chargers go-ahead and eventual game-winning run. After reaching on a hit by pitch, Gelardi scored the run for UNH.
The bottom of the third and fourth innings also went scoreless as the Chargers held on to a narrow 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth Le Moyne managed three base runners, but a foul-fly ball ended the inning with bases loaded.
In the top of the fifth, the UNH offense got back on track with two more runs off one hit. Lindsey Couturier (Dighton, Mass./Dighton Rehoboth Regional) singled up the middle while Gelardi and Brandy Dianno (Philadelphia, Pa./Nazareth Academy) both scored to give UNH a 3-0 lead. The Chargers retired the side in the bottom of the fifth and carried the three-run advantage into the sixth.
New Haven put two more runs on the board with three hits in the sixth. Brooke Fisher (Erial, N.J./Camden Catholic) drove in Gelardi and Dianno again with a single to right field with two outs, giving New Haven a 5-0 lead. King walked the first batter in the bottom of the sixth inning, but a line out and two strikeouts from King kept New Haven ahead 5-0.
In the final inning, Sadie Redman (Bangor, Maine/Bangor) scored one more run for UNH off a throwing error by the first baseman. In the bottom of the seventh, with the no-hitter still in play, King struck out the side to seal her first collegiate no-hitter.
Offensively, Gelardi weent 1-for-1 with two runs, two walks and a hit by pitch. Fished was also perfect with one hit plus two RBI. Couturier also boasted multiple RBI, while four others chipped in with at least one hit.