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Panthers blanked by Eastern Connecticut

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Senior Karen Kaczynski (Harwinton, Conn.) won both ends of a doubleheader for the first time in her career Saturday as the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team shut out Plymouth State College, 1-0 and 8-0, in a Little East Conference doubleheader. The second game was stopped after five innings due to the eight-run rule.

Kaczynski (6-6) has now pitched 19 and one-third consecutive shutout innings and has recorded shutout wins in her last three starts. In the two games against PSC, she allowed only eight hits (seven singles) while fanning four and walking only one. She tossed a two-hitter in the opener, facing only one batter over the minimum of 21. She gave up a one-out single in the second inning to sophomore Steph Marsland (Cumberland, R.I.) and a one-out single to senior Steph Ruel (Biddeford, Maine) in the sixth. Marsland was cut down stealing.

Freshman Melissa Klar (Willimantic, Conn.) drove in the only run of the opener in the fifth inning off PSC sophomore lefthander Lyndsy Patten (Ellsworth, Maine). Klar smacked an RBI double to drive in senior Kelly Rodman (Wallingford, Conn.), who had singled, stole second and went to third on an infield out. Patten allowed only one run and eight hits in the complete-game effort, but took the tough-luck loss to fall to 1-6.

PSC managed six hits in the second game, but stranded six, four in scoring position. Kaczynski was touched for two hits in each of the first two innings but gave up only a single in the fourth and a double in the fifth over the final three innings.

Eastern put the second game away early with five runs on six hits in the first inning off freshman Jes Leary (Farmington, N.H.). Sophomore Michelle Ross (Harwinton, Conn.) doubled home two runs and three others drove in a run apiece. Leary went the distance and took the loss to dip to 2-4.

Ruel was the only PSC player with more than one hit on the day. In addition to singling in the opener, she singled in the second inning of the nightcap as well as drawing Kaczynski's only walk of the afternoon.

PSC, 3-11 overall and 1-3 in the LEC, plays Wednesday (Apr. 11) in a non-conference doubleheader at Fitchburg State (3 p.m.)