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PSU Softball earns split with New England College to stop skid

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State University's softball team stopped a nine-game losing skid Thursday afternoon, taking the second game of a doubleheader against New England College and earning a split of the non-conference twinbill at D&M Park.

            The visitors took the opener, 6-3, but PSU came back to take the nightcap, 7-4.  The split leaves NEC with a 21-15 overall record, while PSU is now 4-19 heading into six key Little East Conference games in the next five days.

            Sophomore Devin Caswell (Wilton, N.H.) sparked the Panthers to victory in the nightcap, reaching base in all four plate appearances on two singles and two walks.  She delivered a clutch two-out hit to drive in two runs in the fourth inning that put PSU ahead 6-2. Freshman Leanne Barry (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton) also collected two hits in the triumph, and freshman pitcher Lisa Illinger (Hanover, Conn.) picked up the win for PSU with a complete-game effort, allowing only six hits and two earned runs.

            Senior Amy Girard (Essex, Mass.) led the Pilgrims in the nightcap, smacking her seventh home run of the season.  Freshman Alexandria Sacco (Tewksbury, Mass.) collected two hits for NEC, including an RBI double.

            Junior Alysia Coats (Stewartstown, N.H.) had a pair of RBI doubles to lead NEC to the win in the opener.  Senior Laura Mahoney (Rumford, R.I.) added a two-run triple in the third inning, and the Pilgrims rounded out the scoring in the fourth inning on a RBI double by freshman Sam Hallam (Warwick, R.I.) and a sacrifice fly by junior Christina Aiello (Mintum, Col.)  Junior Katie Harmon (Saxton's River, Vt.) earned the win in the circle to improve to 13-6.

            Junior Cathy Aimola (Wellesley, Mass.) had three hits for PSU in the opener, including a two-out, two-run single in the first inning.  She was forced out of the game following her third hit after colliding with an NEC infielder while running the bases. Caswell also knocked in a run for the Panthers in the loss.

            Plymouth State plays two key Little East Conference doubleheaders this weekend - Saturday at home against Rhode Island College (1:00 p.m.) and Sunday in a make-up at Eastern Connecticut (2:00 p.m.)  NEC plays a Commonwealth Coast Conference doubleheader Sunday at Roger Williams (12:00 p.m.)

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