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April 18, 2004

Keene State blanks PSU Softball twice

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Keene State College softball pitchers allowed only five hits and no runs Sunday afternoon and the Owls swept a Little East Conference doubleheader from Plymouth State University, 8-0 and 1-0, and D&M Park.

Junior Meghan McLoughlin (Brattleboro, Vt.) was the standout for the Owls, tossing a no-hitter in the first game and pitching three shutout innings of relief to earn the save in the nightcap. The two-game sweep improves KSC's record to 19-5 overall and 8-2 in the LEC, while PSU drops to 11-12 overall and 3-5 in conference play.

McLoughlin allowed only two walks while striking out five in the opener en route to her second no-hitter of the season and improving her record to 7-1. She entered the second game with two runners on base in the fifth inning, and shut down the Panthers the rest of the way for her fourth save. Freshman Erin Fuoroli (Warwick, R.I.) started and improved to 8-1 with four innings of five-hit, no-run pitching.

The Owls got all the runs they would need in the opener on a three-run homer by freshman Kathleen Gambino (Freeport, N.Y.), her second of the season. KSC tacked on another run in the fifth inning on a wild pitch, and put the game away with four runs in the sixth inning. Gambino and junior Jenn Norman (Penacook, N.H.) each drove in one run, and senior Caroline Kurkowski (Niskayuna, N.Y.) finished off the rally with a two-run double.

Sophomore Tiffany Underhill (Eastham, Mass.) had two of Keene State's three hits in the nightcap. She also scored the only run after leading off the third inning with a double, going to third on a sacrifice bunt, and scoring on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Amada Foote (Hudson, N.H.).

PSU junior Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) allowed four runs in five innings of the opener and took the loss. Jeffs came back to allow only three hits and one run in the nightcap, but was again saddled with the loss and dropped to 7-7 on the year.

Jeffs struck out 12 batters on the afternoon, which increased her career total to 860 and moved her into third place on the all-time NCAA Division III strikeouts list. Jeffs moved past Nan Duga, who fanned 850 for Springfield College from 1998-2001.

Junior Niki Ramback (Bethlehem, N.H.) had two singles for PSU in the nightcap. Senior Michelle Knox (Gilmanton, N.H.) and junior Jess Rousselle (Deerfield, N.H.) each cracked doubles, but the Panthers couldn't push a run across the plate.

PSU plays another tough conference doubleheader Tuesday at Southern Maine (3:30 p.m.), while Keene State visits UMass Boston on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.).

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