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Fitchburg upsets PSC in ECAC First Round game

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Sophomore Lindsay Martins (New Bedford, Mass.) cracked a two-out, two-run triple in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday, helping Fitchburg State College upset Plymouth State College in the opening round of the ECAC Division III New England Softball Tournament at PSC's D & M Park.

The victory improves the fifth-seeded Falcons to 24-12 overall and advances them, along with top-seeded Clark University, second-seeded Endicott and sixth-seeded Rhode Island College, to the double-elimination round of the tournament this weekend. PSC completes the winningest season in school history with a 24-13-2 overall record.

PSC took a 2-0 lead in the last of the fifth inning. Freshman Sara Madden (Londonderry, N.H.) led off with a double, and two outs later, junior Steph Marsland (Cumberland, R.I.) drew a walk. Sophomore Maria Curran (Scarborough, Maine) and senior Kristen Fusick (Windsor Locks, Conn.) then delivered consecutive two-out RBI singles.

Fitchburg State answered right back in the top of the sixth. Senior Amanda Rivard (Winchendon, Mass.) led off with a single, and pinch runner Nikki Corroto (Billerica, Mass.) advanced to second on a bunt single by junior Lisa Chamberlain (Hudson, Mass.). Junior Erica Dusombre (Haverhill, Mass.) singled to center to bring Corroto home with the first run, and Martins smacked the game-winning triple to left to drive in Chamberlain and Dusombre.

Senior Michelle Bergeron (Lowell, Mass.) went the distance to pick up the win for the Falcons, improving her record to 16-6. She allowed seven hits and a walk while striking out six. PSC freshman Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) took the loss (21-8) for PSC after giving up eight hits and fanning 11.

Jeffs completes her amazing freshman season with 10 school pitching records, registering the following totals: a 21-8 record, a 0.68 earned run average, 215.0 innings, 104 hits, 12 walks, and 360 strikeouts. The only NCAA Division III pitcher in history to strike out more batters in one season is Kelly Schade of Simpson (Iowa) College, who whiffed 371 as a senior in 1999.

Plymouth State was making its first post-season appearance since 1994, and just its fourth post-season appearance in school history (all in the ECAC Tournament).