FAIRFAX, Va. - The Saint Joseph's softball team split its series opening doubleheader at George Mason on Friday as the Hawks won the opener, 7-4, but fell in the nightcap, 4-2.
In the opener, Saint Joseph's (20-8, 6-1 Atlantic 10) jumped out to a 5-0 lead after scoring twice in the second and three times in the third.
Second baseman Sarah Yoos and designated player Nikki Alden led off the second as both wer hit by pitches. The pair then moved up a base on a passed ball, then Yoos came in to score on a wild pitch to make it 1-0. Following a strike out, Alden would make it 2-0 as she scored on a wild pitch as well.
George Mason (11-18, 4-4 A-10) would strike for three runs against SJU starter Madison Clarke in the bottom of the third, but her teammates had her back in the fourth, scoring twice to extend the lead to 7-3.
Clarke allowed one unearned run over the final three innings to improve to 15-2 on the year. She finished with three strike outs over seven innings, while at the plate, Palase (3-for-4) and Brunck (2-for-4) accounted for five of SJU's six hits.
In game two, SJU again took the lead to start as Palase doubled home Brunck for a 1-0 lead in the top of the third.
George Mason answered back with four runs in the bottom of the inning though to take a 4-1 edge.
The Hawks got a run back in the fourth as Alexis Bush singled home Sarah Yoos, and followed with a strong performance in relief from Anna Lauterbach as she held George Mason hitless over the final three innings.
Brunck went 2-for-4 at the plate, while Alden fell to 3-3 in the circle after allowing four earned runs in three innings.
But it wasn't enough as SJU couldn't score again in dropping its first A-10 game of the season.
The Hawks and the Patriots cap the three-game series on Saturday at noon.