By Brian T. Chan, Sports Editor

Early Wake-Up Call
The George Mason University softball team jumped out to an early lead in both games against the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers in Wednesday’s doubleheader. While they took the first game 5-1, the Patriots were unable to follow through, losing 11-3 in the nightcap.

Mason moved to 15-20 on the season while the Mountaineers stayed at two games above .500 at 22-20.

Sophomore center fielder Alyssa See punched in three hits and scored two runs in the first game as the Patriots tallied four runs in the first inning.

The Mountaineers scored a run in the bottom of the third inning, but Mason quickly regained the four-run advantage by scoring one in the fourth inning. Sophomore first baseman Katie Rynex, the team’s leading RBI producer, hit a two-out single to score See from second base.

Anderson, who gave up one run on six hits while striking out seven batters, retired the side in the last two innings.

The Patriots again gained the early advantage, scoring a run in the first inning of the second game. Sophomore second baseman Tori Dudley led off the game with a single and made her way around the basepath by swiping each base. Entering the game with only one stolen base, Dudley managed to steal three bases in that one inning.

The Patriots were in attack mode later in the fourth inning as they extended their lead to 3-0. Sophomore starting pitcher Miranda Cranford allowed just one hit in the first three innings, but she was unable to sustain her solid start as she ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Mountaineers tied the game with a three-run fourth inning. Sophomore designated player Liz Christiansen smoked a three-run blast as part of the four-run fifth inning. She later doubled in another run in the sixth inning to add onto her five-RBI day.

The Mountaineers’ top three hitters in the lineup combined for nine hits, seven runs, and nine RBIs.

Cranford ended the day, losing for the 12th time this season after allowing 10 runs on 10 hits in 5-1/3 innings. Two of the flyballs she gave up were the two three-run blasts to Christiansen and sophomore shortstop Beebe.

No. 2 Cavaliers Prove a Handful for Mason
Riding a six-game winning streak, the George Mason University baseball team faced a huge test against the nationally-ranked powerhouse Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Va.; for a third of the game, the Patriots smelled upset, but that did not last long as the Cavaliers trounced Mason 10-3 on Wednesday.

Mason dropped to 23-12 overall and lost on the road for the first time since April 4, while the No. 2 Cavaliers improved to 31-9.

Senior starting pitcher Kris Mengle took the mound for Mason; after giving up a two-out triple in the first inning, he settled down as he retired the next four batters in his two-inning appearance.

Outscoring their opponents 58-21 during the six-game stretch, the Patriots’ offense emerged in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Junior catcher Brett Hendricks led off with a single, and sophomore right fielder Dan Schafferman followed with a single.

Sophomore center fielder Jeremy Haas, who went 2-for-5 on the day, got a bunt single on an 0-2 pitch, and Hendricks scored Mason’s first run on a throwing error from Cavaliers sophomore third baseman Steven Proscia. Sophomore left fielder Brig Tison grounded into a double play, but the Patriots took the lead as Schafferman crossed the plate on the play.

Mason was unable to hold onto the lead as the Cavaliers struck for seven runs in the next three frames. Redshirt junior pitcher T.J. O’Grady gave up six hits and five runs in one inning and was charged with the loss.

The Patriots scored their third run of the game in the seventh inning as Haas scored on one of the Cavaliers’ four errors in the game. The Cavaliers were too powerful for the Patriots, scoring two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to extend the lead to 10-3. Mason concluded the road trip with a 4-1 record.