PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State University snapped a five-game losing streak Saturday afternoon by sweeping a Little East Conference softball doubleheader from the University of Massachusetts Boston at D&M Park, 4-3 and 13-5 (in five innings).
The Panthers get back on the winning track and improve to 13-14 overall and 5-7 in the LEC, while UMB drops to 6-22 overall and 1-13 in conference play. PSU wraps up the regular season Sunday (Apr. 25) with a home make-up twinbill against UMass Dartmouth (1:00 p.m.), giving the Panthers a chance to go into the post-season with a winning record.
PSU was forced to come from behind to capture the opener. Junior Anna Godard (Florence, Mass.) gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the second inning, but the Beacons rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth. UMB senior Stacey Peterson (Glendale, Az.) was hit by a pitch, freshman Andrea Ciarletta (Watertown, Mass.) followed with a single, and one out later, sophomore Jenn Murray (Avon, Mass.) cracked a three-run homer to left.
The Panthers answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Maria Curran (Scarborough, Maine) led off with a single, and was followed by a walk to classmate Krissy Crego (Rochester, N.H.). After a sacrifice bunt by junior Michelle Dubois (Auburn, Maine) and an infield error by UMB allowed one run to score, senior Heidi Beaulac (Newmarket, N.H.) smacked a key two-run double to put the Panthers ahead.
PSU junior pitcher Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) did the rest, keeping the Beacons off the board the rest of the way. Jeffs finished with 13 strikeouts and evened her record at 8-8. Sophomore Stephanie Poulos (Glens Falls, N.Y.) took the loss for UMB.
Plymouth State pounded out 13 runs on 13 hits in five innings to win the nightcap. The Panthers scored three runs in the first inning and five in the second, then put the game away with four runs in the third.
Junior Niki Ramback (Bethlehem, N.H.) led the Panther onslaught with five RBI on a double, a triple, and her second home run of the season. Curran also went deep for her first homer of the year, and senior Michelle Knox (Gilmanton, N.H.) had three hits, including two doubles.
Sophomore Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) went the distance in the circle for the Panthers, earning the win to even her mark at 5-5. Eaton also collected three singles in four trips to the plate.
After Sunday's regular-season finale against UMD, Plymouth State will play in the annual LEC Tournament, a double-elimination affair beginning Thursday (Apr. 29) at regular season champion Keene State College.
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