KEENE, N.H. - Sophomore Mallory Zenkus (Seymour, Conn.) capped a three-run rally with a two-run single in the sixth inning, and third-seeded Western Connecticut State University defeated sixth-seeded Plymouth State University, 4-0, in Game 2 of the Little East Conference Double-Elimination Softball Tournament held at Keene State College's Owl Athletic Complex.
The Panthers, 15-15 overall, play again Friday at 1:00 p.m. in an elimination game against top-seeded Keene State (26-9). The Owls were upset in their first game by fourth-seeded University of Southern Maine, 2-0 in 11 innings. Southern Maine also won the opening game of the tournament in 21 innings over fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University, 2-1.
All four of Western Conn.'s run against Plymouth State were unearned, as the Colonials, now 23-14, capitalized on three Panther errors. Western scored once in the third inning on a PSU infield error, and two Colonial runners reached base on errors in the sixth inning before senior Katie Wardlow (Old Bridge, N.J.) hit a sacrifice fly and Zenkus followed with her two-run single.
The Panthers couldn't take advantage of three hits and six walks, leaving eight runners on base. PSU loaded the bases in the first inning and put two runners on in the fifth, but couldn't push any runs across. Senior Kristin Balles (Bedford, N.H.) had two of PSU's three hits, and senior Michelle Knox (Gilmanton, N.H.) reached twice on a hit and a walk.
Sophomore Kristy Swanson (Danbury, Conn.) earned the win for Western, improving to 7-6 and posting her second shutout of the season. PSU junior Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) was saddled with the loss (10-9) despite allowing only four hits and a walk and no earned runs in six innings while striking out six.
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