PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State University and Rhode Island College split a Little East Conference softball doubleheader Saturday afternoon, with PSU winning the opener, 6-0, and RIC taking the nightcap, 5-3, at D&M Park.
The outcome gives PSU an 11-10 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the conference, while RIC is now 17-9 overall and 6-2 in LEC play. The games were the first at home for the Panthers after the first four dates were rained out.
PSU junior All-America pitcher Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) allowed only one hit in the opener, recording her fifth shutout of the season and 32nd of her career. She struck out four without walking a batter and improved her season record to 7-5.
After four innings of scoreless softball in the opener, PSU plated five unearned runs in the fifth inning off RIC starter Kim Warrington (North Kingstown, R.I.). Junior Sara Madden (Londonderry, N.H.) started the rally with a lead-off single. Senior Kristin Balles (Bedford, N.H.) later contributed an RBI single, and junior Niki Ramback (Bethlehem, N.H.) climaxed the rally with a bases-loaded triple.
Junior Anna Godard (Florence, Mass.) singled and came around to score PSU's final run in the sixth inning, and Jeffs shut the door in the seventh to preserve the shutout victory.
RIC took advantage of four PSU errors to score five unearned runs to win the nightcap. Junior Rachael Caldwell (Richmond, R.I.) singled home a run in the first inning, and freshman Casie Lyons (Hudson, Mass.) drove in two more with a third-inning single. Freshman Nicole Riley (North Providence, R.I.) added an RBI single for the visitors in the fourth inning.
Riley also picked up the win for RIC, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk. She struck out nine and improved her record to 9-4.
PSU scored all three of its runs in the third inning when Balles singled, Madden doubled, and Ramback cracked her first home run of the season to left field.
Sophomore Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) was saddled with the loss for PSU, despite giving up no earned runs. She allowed eight hits and two walks while fanning three, but fell to 4-4.
Both teams play another LEC doubleheader on Sunday, PSU hosting rival Keene State (2:00 p.m.) and RIC visiting Southern Maine (1:00 p.m.).
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