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PSU Softball sweeps UMass Dartmouth in Little East debut

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The Plymouth State University softball team opened Little East Conference play Saturday afternoon with a two-game sweep of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, winning 9-2 and 6-1 at the UMD Athletic Complex.

Sophomore Rachel Pothier (Reading, Mass.) had three hits and two runs batted in to lead a 10-hit Panther attack in the opener, while sophomore pitcher Courtney MacFarland (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) limited the Corsairs to six hits and two runs in six innings. Pothier and sophomore Heather Bartolo (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) each collected three hits and freshman Becca DiPietro (Portsmouth, R.I.) drove in three runs in the nightcap, supporting freshman Kat Roland (Norton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy), who held the Corsairs to five hits and one run over six innings.

Plymouth State improved to 7-6 and 2-0 in the Little East Conference with the sweep, while UMass Dartmouth dropped to 0-6 and 0-2 in LEC play.

The Corsairs struck first in the opener on an RBI double by senior Shannon Allberry (Attleboro, Mass.). Plymouth State responded with three runs in the top of the second to go on top for good, two coming home on run-scoring doubles by junior Lori Pettengill (Holderness, N.H.) and Bartolo. The Panthers put the game away with one run in the third inning, three more in the fifth and the final two in the seventh.

DiPietro and Pothier finished the opener with two doubles apiece, and junior Danielle Normand (Rumford, R.I./East Providence) reached base three times with two hits and a walk. MacFarland did the rest, striking out six and walking none in her six innings and improving her record to 4-1, with freshman Ashley Pinkham (Center Barnstead, N.H./Kingswood) came on to pitch a scoreless seventh inning.

Bartolo and Pothier smacked RBI doubles in the third and fourth innings of the nightcap to give PSU a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Leanne Barry (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton) and Bartolo singled to start a three-run rally in the fifth inning; DiPietro brought home two runs with a single, and Pothier knocked in the third run with another RBI double. DiPietro also added a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

Roland fanned seven and did not walk a batter in six innings for PSU, evening her record at 3-3, and Pinkham worked a scoreless seventh inning for the second straight game.

PSU is back on the road Monday with a non-conference twinbill at Salem State, beginning at 3:30 p.m., while UMD is home again on Monday for two against Pine Manor (3:30 p.m.)

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