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Panthers sweep LEC pair from Keene State

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Freshman pitching sensation Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) allowed only six hits and one unearned run in 12 innings Tuesday to lead Plymouth State College to a sweep over arch-rival Keene State College, 2-0 and 9-1, a Little East Conference softball doubleheader at D & M Park.

Jeffs surrendered only three hits while striking out 13 batters in the opener as the Panthers posted a 2-0 victory. It was Jeffs' eighth shutout of the season, breaking the PSC career mark for shutouts (previously held by Amanda Murphy, who had seven from 1996-99). The Panther freshman then fanned four batters and allowed only three hits and an unearned run as the Panthers took the nightcap in five innings, 9-1. She extended her PSC single-season and career strikeout records to 208 (in 121 innings with only three walks).

Plymouth State scored both of its runs in the third inning of game one. Sophomore Maria Curran (Scarborough, Maine) led off with a walk and was followed by a single by senior Kristen Fusick (Windsor Locks, Conn.). After sophomore Kristin Balles (Bedford, N.H.) reached on a fielder's choice, which erased Curran, Fusick and Balles came around to score what turned out to be the game-winning runs on a Keene State passed ball and an infield throwing error.

PSC jumped out on top 2-0 in the first inning of the nightcap when Curran reached on an error and junior Adriene Harvey (Nantucket, Mass.) drilled her LEC-leading fifth home run of the season over the fence in straight away center field. The Owls got one back in the top of the second with just one hit, thanks to a pair of PSC infield errors.

The Panthers put the game away with seven runs in the fifth inning. Freshman Michelle Dubois (Auburn, Maine) and sophomore Mo Cancellieri (Stoughton, Mass.) started the rally with consecutive singles. Fusick followed with a single to drive in a run, freshman Annie Metz (North Chelmsford, Mass.) knocked in a run on an infield grounder, and freshman Anna Godard (Florence, Mass.) drew a bases-loaded walk. Junior Steph Marsland (Cumberland, R.I.) brought home two more with an RBI single, and Dubois drove in the final run on an infield out.

The sweep improves PSC's record to 14-8-2 overall and 5-3 in the Little East, while Keene State drops to 13-8-2 and 1-4-1. PSC continues its 10-game homestand Wednesday with a non-conference make-up doubleheader against Bates (3:30 p.m.). Keene State returns home to host UMass Dartmouth on Saturday in an LEC twinbill (1:00 p.m.).