WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Plymouth State College and Eastern Connecticut State University split a pair of 1-0 shutouts Saturday in the Little East Conference softball opener for both schools.
The Panthers won the opener behind the three-hit pitching of freshman Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.), while the Warriors came back to win the nightcap with a five-hit effort from sophomore Shari D'Amico (Trumbull, Conn.). PSC completes the day with an 8-2-2 overall record, while ECSU is now 4-8.
Jeffs struck out 11 in the opener and didn't walk anyone while posting her fourth shutout in seven starts this spring, lowering her earned run average to 0.24 and giving her 102 strikeouts and two walks in 59.3 innings. PSC scored the only run it needed in the fourth inning with a two-out rally. Sophomore Kristin Balles (Bedford, N.H./West) reached on a infield single and came home on junior cleanup batter Adriene Harvey's (Nantucket, Mass.) double to center, her team-leading 16th RBI.
The win breaks an 18-game losing streak for PSC at Eastern Conn., and a nine-game losing streak overall to the Warriors.
D'Amico walked one and fanned two to earn the win in the nightcap as PSC stranded six runners in the first four innings. Eastern scored its only run in the fifth on three hits, two of them infield hits. Pinch runner Annmarie Fillion (Canton, Conn.) scored from second base on an infield single when sophomore Monica Cardona (West Haven, Conn.) beat PSC shortstop Michelle Knox (Gilmanton, N.H.) to the bag at second on a ground ball up the middle. The verdict handed Jeffs (6-1) her first loss of the season.
PSC's scheduled home opener, Wednesday, Apr. 3, against Bates, has been postponed due to unplayable field conditions and rescheduled for Wednesday, Apr. 17. The Panthers are hoping to begin the home season on Saturday, Apr. 6, with a Little East Conference twinbill against UMass Dartmouth (1:00 p.m.).
(Courtesy ECSU Sports Information)