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Jeffs helps Panthers blank RIC

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Freshman Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) tossed back-to-back shutouts Saturday afternoon, leading Plymouth State College to a sweep of Rhode Island College, 2-0 and 2-0, in a Little East Conference softball doubleheader at D & M Park.

The Panthers have won five of their last six games to improve to 17-9-2 overall and 7-3 in the Little East Conference. The 17 victories are the most in a season for PSC since the 1994 team finished 20-16. RIC saw its record drop to 20-7 overall and 6-4 in the LEC.

Jeffs allowed only one hit in the opener, a seventh-inning single by Michele Fanelli (Pembroke Pines, Fla.). She struck out 11 and had a perfect game into the sixth inning before PSC made an infield error. Jeffs then fanned six and surrendered just three hits in the nightcap, two by junior Melanie Miller (Warwick, R.I.), lowering her earned run average to 0.35.

The Panther freshman matched another school record Saturday, her sixth of the season. She improved her individual record to 14-4 and tied the PSC pitching mark for victories in a season (set by Karen Misenheimer in 1994). She extended her records for shutouts in a season and career to 10, and improved her record-breaking strikeout totals to 236 (with only four walks in 141.1 innings). Jeffs ranks second in the nation in NCAA Division III for strikeouts per seven innings (11.69).

The Panthers got the only runs they would need in the opener in the first inning. Sophomore Maria Curran (Scarborough, Maine) led off with a single and senior Kristen Fusick (Windsor Locks, Conn.) followed with a walk. After a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Kristin Balles (Bedford, N.H.) moved the runners over, junior Adriene Harvey (Nantucket, Mass.) drove in both runs with a single to center, her LEC-leading 26th and 27th RBI of the season.

PSC plated its two runs in the sixth inning of the nightcap. Curran started the rally with a single, and Fusick followed with an RBI double to left center. Fusick then came around to score on an RIC infield error and a wild pitch.

Sophomore Kim Warrington (North Kingstown, R.I.) pitched well for the Anchorwomen, allowing only six hits in the doubleheader, but took the loss in both games to drop her record to 10-3.

PSC wraps up its 10-game homestand Sunday with a non-conference doubleheader against Castleton State (1:00 p.m.). RIC returns home to host Western Connecticut in an LEC twinbill on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.).