Hofstra smashed two home runs among its six hits in a five-run sixth that erased a deficit and ensured the Pride posted an Opening Day victory for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. Down 3-2, the first five hitters notched a base hit, culminating with Hawkins’ two-run shot to center.
Senior Ashley Ainbinder started the inning with a double down the left field line over and sophomore Kim Smith followed with a run-scoring single to left-center. Senior Rachael Senatore’s single put two runners on and sophomore Chloe Fitzgerald broke the tie with a RBI infield single.
Hawkins’ home run provided two key insurance runs and Bailey’s solo shot two batters later opened the 7-3 lead that would be the final margin.
Eight of Hofstra’s nine starters had at least one base hit. Hofstra employed speed at the top of the lineup with Senatore and Fitzgerald batting in the top two spots. Senatore reached base three times on a hit and two walks while Fitzgerald went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and a stolen base. Senior shortstop Becca Bigler also finished with two hits.
Junior pitcher Morgan Lashley earned the victory in her Hofstra debut. The transfer from Army struck out four Huskies in her six innings of work.
Hofstra's scheduled 5 p.m. game against South Florida was postponed due to rain and rescheduled for Sunday (February 23) at 9 a.m. The Pride will be back in action Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette at 2:30 p.m. and then again at 5 p.m. versus Illinois State