KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College softball team erupted for 24 runs on 36 hits Tuesday afternoon en route to a Little East Conference doubleheader sweep over rival Plymouth State University at the Owl Sports Complex, 10-1 and 14-3 in five innings.
The Owls, who had dropped their first four conference games this spring, improve to 2-4 in the LEC and 17-5 overall. The Panthers, who won their first two Little East games this season, drop to 2-6 in the conference, 16-8 overall. The games were moved from PSU to Keene due to field conditions in Plymouth; the Panthers batted second as the ‘home' team.
Keene State broke on top with a run in the top of the first of the opener on an RBI single by junior Katie Allenson (Clifton Park, N.Y.). The Owls tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning on a two-run homer by junior Jenna Patnode (Surry, N.H.), and turned the game into a rout with four runs in the fifth inning, two coming home on a triple by Patnode and two more on a home run by senior Jessica Starkey (Keene, N.H.). Senior Kaity Conklin (Selkirk, N.Y.) added a solo homer in the sixth inning, and Conklin and freshman Ashley Annis (Gilford, N.H.) finished off the scoring for Keene with RBI singles in the seventh inning.
PSU scored its only run in the fifth inning on a lead-off home run by freshman Laura Kaplan (Franklin, N.H.), her first of the season. That was the only damage the Panthers could muster off KSC senior Ashlee Nicholson (Swanzey, N.H.), who allowed five hits and no walks, striking out 10 to improve her record to 5-3. Sophomore Kat Roland (Norton, Mass.) started and took the loss for PSU.
Keene State put the second game out of reach early, scoring two runs in the first inning, six in the second inning and two more in the third. Patnode had four hits for the Owls and Allenson added three hits and drove in five runs. KSC finished with 19 hits of PSU pitchers Courtney MacFarland (Hampstead, N.H.) and Beth Moretti (Woonsocket, R.I.), with six players getting at least two hits.
The Panthers managed to get on the board with a single run in the third inning on a bases-loaded two-out single by junior Heather Bartolo (Derry, N.H.). They added a couple more runs in the fifth inning on a two-run double by freshman Kortney Nedeau (Kennebunk, Maine).
Plymouth State looks to regroup in time for Thursday's non-conference doubleheader at Framingham State. Keene State hosts Williams College in a non-conference twinbill on Wednesday.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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