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PSU Softball splits LEC pair at UMass Dartmouth

         NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - Senior Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) singled home Shauna Isham (Auburn, N.H./Manchester Memorial) in the ninth inning Saturday afternoon to give the Plymouth State University softball team a 7-6 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a split of the Little East Conference doubleheader at the UMD Athletic Complex.

            The hosts captured the opener 1-0, behind the three-hit pitching of freshman Brittney Kannan (Methuen, Mass.), and Kannan also scored the only run of the game on a fifth-inning Panther error.  The nightcap was tied 5-5 after the regulation seven innings before each team plated a run in the eighth inning with the help of the tiebreaker, and PSU won it on Eaton's ninth-inning single and solid five innings of relief pitching by freshman Courtney McFarland (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton).

            Kannan started the game-winning rally in the opener for UMD when she walked with two out in the fifth. Kannan moved to second on a single by junior Shannon Alberry (Attleboro, Mass.) and scored on a Panther infield error.

            The Panthers loaded the bases in the sixth inning but couldn't push a run across the plate against Kannan, who retired the side in order in the seventh to improve her record to 2-1. Eaton, who allowed only four hits for PSU, took the tough-luck loss.

            PSU won the nightcap despite being outhit, 16-6, thanks to four UMD errors.  After UMD got off to a 3-0 lead, the Panthers scored twice in the third inning and took the lead with three runs in the fourth. A pitch hit by freshman Heather Bartolo (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) with the bases loaded scored one run, and sophomore Devin Caswell (Wilton, N.H.) doubled in two more.

            UMD came back to force extra innings when freshman Kathleen L'Abbe (New Bedford, Mass.) singled in a run and freshman Christine White (Worcester, Mass.) tripled in the bottom of the fifth.

            With the international tiebreaker in use in the eighth inning, freshman Leanne Barry (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton) singled home junior Cathy Aimola (Wellesley, Mass.) from second to give PSU a 6-5 lead, but the Corsairs tied it when senior Amanda Leal (New Bedford, Mass.) scored on Kannan's single in the bottom of the eighth. After Eaton singled home Isham in the top of the ninth, MacFarland retired UMD without allowing a run to give the Panthers the split.

            PSU, 3-10 overall, is back in action Sunday with a non-conference twinbill at Bowdoin (1:00 p.m.)  UMD, 4-2, returns to action Tuesday with a visit to Massachusetts Maritime.

(Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information)

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