WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - The Plymouth State University and Eastern Connecticut State University softball teams, which both began the day with 2-0 Little East Conference records, split an LEC doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Howard Spector Field, PSU winning the opener 6-5 and EastConn taking the nightcap, 10-7.
Plymouth State moves to 8-7 overall and 3-1 in the conference with the split, while Eastern is now 12-7 and 3-1. PSU has matched last year's win total, when the team finished with an 8-25 record. The Panthers were the home team in both games Saturday because the twinbill was scheduled to be played in Plymouth before the recent snowstorm forced the games to be moved to Connecticut.
Junior Lori Pettengill (Holderness, N.H.) delivered a one-out single to center field in the bottom of the seventh inning in the opener to drive in sophomore pinch runner Michelle Kelly (Hill, N.H.) with the winning run for the Panthers. PSU rallied from an early 3-0 third-inning deficit to take a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning; ECSU tied it at 5-5 in the top of the seventh before PSU won it in the bottom half of the inning.
The Panthers collected 11 hits in the opener, including two each from Pettengill, sophomore Leanne Barry (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton), and freshmen Kay LaBrie (Somersworth, N.H.) and Jenna George (Cumberland, R.I.) Barry had a pair of doubles, sophomore Rachel Pothier (Reading, Mass.) added an RBI triple, and George registered a double and her first career home run.
Sophomore pitcher Courtney MacFarland (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) earned the win in the circle for PSU, allowing only one earned run in the complete-game effort while striking out four and improving her record to 5-1.
Eastern came out with four runs in the top of the first inning of the nightcap. It was a 5-4 Warrior lead after three innings when Eastern plated three runs in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth to go up 10-4 en route to the 10-7 final. PSU out hit the Warriors, 15-12, but stranded 11 baserunners.
Barry was hot at the plate for the Panthers with three more hits in the nightcap, including an RBI double. Sophomore Heather Bartolo (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) and junior Danielle Normand (Rumford, R.I./East Providence) had two hits and knocked in two runs apiece, and junior Shauna Isham (Auburn, N.H./Manchester Memorial) and freshman Sammi Romano (Kingston, N.H./Sanborn Regional) also collected two hits apiece.
PSU is slated to return to action Monday with a make-up doubleheader at Salem State (3:30 p.m.), which was rained out a week ago.
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