PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Sophomore right fielder Meg Cirigliano's (Newington, Conn.) RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday afternoon lifted third-seeded Western Connecticut State University past sixth-seeded Plymouth State University, 2-1, in first round action of the 2005 Little East Conference Softball Tournament.
WCSU ups its record to 21-12-1 overall and advances to face second-seeded Keene State in its next game of the double-elimination affair. Plymouth State, 14-17, will play again on Friday at 12:00 noon in an elimination game against fourth-seeded University of Southern Maine, which dropped its first game to top-seeded Rhode Island College, 2-1.
The PSU-WestConn. game was a pitcher's duel through the first five innings as WCSU freshman Shelby Slie (Seymour, Conn.) and PSU senior Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) were both perfect.
The Colonials took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when junior Holly Szymanski (Wallingford, Conn.) reached on a Panther infield error, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Kaitlin Nocera (Lindenhurst, N.Y.), and scored on a single by Cirigliano.
With the backs against the wall, PSU came up with a tying run in the top of the seventh. Senior Michelle Dubois (Auburn, Maine) led off with an infield single, went to second on a groundout, and scored on a double down the left field line by freshman Kristi Curry (Nottingham, N.H.)
The Colonials scored the game-winner in the eighth when Nocera and freshman Brittany Finkeldey (Ivoryton, Conn.) reached safely on bunt singles, and Nocera advanced to third on a Panther error. Cirigliano singled through the left side for the game-winning hit.
Jeffs was a tough-luck loser for PSU, allowing only four hits and no earned runs in 7.1 innings while striking out 13. Slie improved to 11-3 with the win, allowing just three hits and one run, fanning eight.
(Courtesy of RIC Sports Information)
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