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PSU Softball handed one-run losses by Bethel and Bowdoin

         FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Plymouth State University softball team suffered a pair of losses in heartbreaking fashion Tuesday at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic, dropping a 7-6 decision in eight innings to Bethel University (Minn.) and a 1-0 verdict to Bowdoin College.

            The Panther bats, which had scored only two runs in PSU's first four games, finally came alive against Bethel, pounding out 12 hits and scoring six runs.  Freshman Leanne Barry (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton) led the way with three hits, while senior Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) and freshman Leslie Sarno (Durham, N.H.) each had two hits, including a double. Sophomore Devin Caswell (Wilton, N.H.) added a two-run triple to highlight a four-run third inning for the Panthers.

            PSU led 6-3 going into the final inning but couldn't put the Royals away.  Bethel scored three runs in the top of the seventh to tie it, and added an unearned run in the top of the eighth to pull out the win.  The Panthers had a chance for the win in the bottom of the seventh when Eaton, freshman Lisa Illinger (Hanover, Conn.) and junior Cathy Aimola (Wellesley, Mass.) recorded consecutive singles to load the bases with one out, but could not push the winning run across the plate.

            Plymouth State got another outstanding pitching performance in the second game from freshman Courtney MacFarland (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton), who was locked in a scoreless duel through six innings with Bowdoin freshman Karen Reni (Ashland, Mass.).  The Polar Bears pulled out the win in the seventh inning when sophomore Sarah Stern (Newport Coast, Cal.) knocked in senior Megan Wyman (Steep Falls, Maine) with her second hit of the game.  PSU managed only one hit off Reni.

            After an off-day on Wednesday, PSU, 0-6, will try to regroup Thursday with games against Buffalo State and Smith College.  Bethel is now 3-2 and Bowdoin is 2-8.

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