ETOBICOKE, ON: The Humber Hawks, playing their inaugural game in their new home of Connorvale Park, swept away the Fanshawe Falcons by scores of 12-4 and 6-4.
Playing in front of a large partisan and boisterous crowd, the Hawks did not disappoint in the annual "Battle of the Birds". Humber showed many positive signs, especially on the offensive end, scoring in every inning they played, in game one. Pitching was solid, as the Hawks got contributions from many of the arms on their roster over the two outings.
GAME ONE – HUMBER HAWKS 12 VS FANSHAWE FALCONS 4
Humber raced out to a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. The big knock was a two out, bases loaded triple off the bat of shortstop Alexa Vassos. Vassos's drive eluded the centerfielder and found its place against the fence in deep right centre, which made it easy for Vassos to make it to third standing.
Humber continued to tack on, and found themselves up by seven after four innings. Starter Rachel Matheson-Green was stellar through the first four innings, but it was the Falcons bats that woke up and connected for four runs in the top of the fifth. Veteran Bree Donaldson was called upon to put out the fire, and she did just that. Over her 1.1 innings on the mound she gave up just a single hit and no runs.
The one thing lacking from the Hawks last year was the ability to respond quickly, but if the next two innings were any indication, then there are bright skies ahead for Humber this season. Humber scored one in the bottom of the fifth inning, and then added three more in the sixth, putting the game well out of reach.
Kayden Wotton came on the finish up the game in the seventh, surrendering a single walk and not allowing a Falcon to cross the plate.
Freshman Hayley Pasma led both teams at the plate, with three hits. Both Sarah Franchetto and Meaghan Murphy chipped in with two hits, while Vassos led the game with four runs batted in. Ali Bergman and Andrea Webster contributed two hits each for the Falcons.
Matheson-Green secured the win, while the Fanshawe's Nicole Erb was tagged with the loss.
For her efforts, Vassos was selected as the Hawks Nation Player of the Game.
GAME TWO – HUMBER HAWKS 6 VS FANSHAWE FALCONS 4
With veteran and former OCAA All-Star Myranda Pierson on the mound, the Hawks were looking to complete the sweep on the day. It was clear that the visiting Falcons were not going to put themselves in the early hole like they did in game one. They came out flying, driving the ball all around the ballyard, scooting out to a 3-0 lead after their first at-bat.
It was a double-double that put the Hawks right back into the game. With both Elise Gregoris and Terah Cammileri driving balls beyond the Falcons outfielders, Humber had tied the game up at three, at the end of one.
In the second inning, Pierson settled in for the Hawks, and the Humber offence came out swinging in the bottom of the frame. Gregoris was once again the star, slapping her second double in two innings, giving her a game high four runs batted in.
A lull set in over the next three innings, with either team mustering any type of offence, ending up with zero's on the scoreboard for both teams.
Fanshawe not only scored in the sixth but was looking to tie the game with runners on second and third, with two out. Donaldson, back on the mound in game two in relief of Pierson, induced a ground ball to end the threat.
Unlike the first game, the Hawks once again were unable to score a run in the bottom of the sixth, their fourth straight scoreless inning.
With Wotton on the mound for the Hawks in the seventh, things got a little interesting, as the Falcons had two players on base and the go-ahead run at the plate. An incredible 6-4-3 double play ended the game and brought the Humber faithful out of their seats.
As mentioned above, Gregoris led Humber with four rbi's, and she led the team with two hits as well. A trio of Fanshawe players had two knocks each in game two. Fanshawe outhit the hometown Hawks 8-6 in the game.
Pierson secured the win, while Wotton achieved her first collegiate save. Laura Chappel went the distance for Fanshawe in the losing effort.
Humber's Gregoris was chosen as the Hawks Nation Player of the Game
There is little rest for the Hawks, as they will travel to Hamilton on Sunday afternoon for two games against the Mohawk Mountaineers.