WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Junior Sara Madden (Londonderry, N.H.) hit a two-out, two-run single in the fourth inning to break open a close game and lead Plymouth State University to a 4-1 softball victory and a split of the Little East Conference doubleheader with Eastern Connecticut State University Friday afternoon at Spector Field.
Freshman Lauren Bedini (Seymour, Conn.) drove in junior Annmarie Fillian (Canton, Conn.) with a two-out double in the bottom of the eighth inning to give ECSU a 1-0 triumph in the opener.
Eastern Conn. moves to 3-1 in conference play this season and 11-9 overall, while Plymouth State is now 1-1 in the LEC and 7-8 overall.
In the first game, Plymouth couldn't capitalize on a leadoff double in the top of the eighth inning by freshman Cathy Aimola (Wellesley, Mass.), and Eastern made a winner of sophomore pitcher Lindsay Savelle (Cheshire, Conn.) in the bottom of the inning by scoring the only run after there were two out and no runners on. Fillian legged out an infield single against junior All-America pitcher Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) and Bedini drilled a one-strike pitch through the gap in left-center to plate Fillian from first.
For the second straight year, Savelle out-dueled Jeffs in extra innings. Savelle allowed only three hits in recording her second shutout of the year, fanning five and walking two. Jeffs pitched a six-hitter, striking out seven without walking a batter. Last year, Savelle delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning in Eastern's 2-1 victory.
Jeffs gained revenge for three career losses to Eastern in the second game, allowing only an unearned run over the first five innings before giving way to sophomore Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.). Jeffs, who fanned four and walked one, left with a 4-1 lead and Eaton gained her first save by limiting the Warriors to one hit over the final two innings.
PSU scored twice in the first inning of the nightcap after there were two out and no runners on with three straight hits -- a triple by senior Michelle Knox (Gilmanton, N.H.), an RBI double by junior Niki Ramback (Bethlehem, N.H.) and an RBI single by senior Marie Curran (Scarborough, Maine). After Eastern got one back in the second, the Panthers added two more in the third on Madden's two-run single. Knox reached base safely three times in the nightcap with two hits and a walk and two runs scored.
PSU remains in Connecticut for an LEC twinbill Saturday at Western Conn. (1:00 p.m.).
(Courtesy of Eastern Conn. Sports Information)
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