FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Plymouth State University softball team split its first two games of the season Sunday in the annual Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic, falling to Palm Beach Atlantic University in extra innings, 2-1, and rebounding to defeat Franklin Pierce College, 5-3.
PSU's first game of the season Sunday was against Palm Beach Atlantic, which was playing its 25th game of the season. Panther senior Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) and PBA senior Melissa Cundiff (Pompano Beach, Fla.) were locked in a scoreless duel through seven innings. PSU broke through in the eighth on an RBI by senior Anna Godard (Florence, Mass.) but the Sailfish evened the score in the bottom of the eighth and then plated the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth, using the tiebreaker rule.
Cundiff earned the win for PBA, allowing only one hit in nine innings while striking out eight. Jeffs was the tough-luck losing pitcher after giving up only one hit and one walk while whiffing 17.
The Panther bats came alive in the night cap against Franklin Pierce, scoring five runs on seven hits. Freshman Ashley Fleming (Farmington, Conn.) and junior Jess Fortin (Chester, N.H./Pinkerton) each had two hits for PSU, with Fleming knocking in a pair of runs. Freshman Kristi Curry (Nottingham, N.H./Dover) also highlighted PSU's three-run sixth inning with an RBI triple.
Junior Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) picked up her first win of the season, allowing only three runs and striking out five. Jeffs worked the final two outs to earn the save.
PSU gets right back into action with two games Monday morning. The Panthers will meet Bethel College (Minn.) at 9:00 a.m. and Albright University (Pa.) at 11:00 a.m.
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