PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Rhode Island College got strong pitching and played error-free defense Saturday afternoon en route to sweeping a Little East Conference softball doubleheader from Plymouth State University, 6-2 and 6-0, in PSU's home opener at D&M Park.
The Anchorwomen managed just three hits in the opener, but score six unearned runs thanks to six PSU errors, and came back with six runs on seven hits in the nightcap. RIC, the defending LEC champions and currently ranked No. 1 in New England, improved to 27-5 overall and 10-0 in conference play, while PSU dipped to 17-11 and 2-8.
RIC took a 3-0 lead in the third inning of the opener with the help of three Panther errors. The only hit of the inning was a two-out, two-run double by freshman Kayla Jandreau (Plainville, Conn.) PSU bounced right back with two runs in the bottom half of the inning when sophomore Jenna George (Cumberland, R.I.) led off with a double and freshman Kortney Nedeau (Kennebunk, Maine) smacked her second home run of the season over the left field fence.
The Anchorwomen put the game away with four unearned runs in the fifth inning, following two Panther miscues. Freshman Amanda Perry (New Bedford, Mass.) brought home one run with a bases-loaded walk. A grounder to the pitcher forced out a potential run at the plate, but the throw to first base for the double-play attempt sailed into right field, allowing two more runs to come home.
Freshman Melanie Neece (Westfield, Mass.) picked up the win for RIC, improving to 14-2 after allowing just three hits while striking out eight. Sophomore Kat Roland (Norton, Mass.) suffered the loss for PSU (8-4) despite allowing only three hits and no earned runs while fanning seven.
The visitors jumped ahead in the nightcap with a pair of runs in the first inning, and added four more runs in the fourth inning. That was plenty for sophomore pitchers Jenna Devenines (Lowville, N.Y.) and Jamie Sacco (Bellingham, Mass.), who limited PSU to just four hits. Devenines picked up the win with four innings of two-hit pitching, while Sacco came on to throw three innings, surrendering just two hits.
The seven RIC hits in the nightcap came from seven different batters. Senior Christie Lotti (Waterford, Conn.) contributed a two-run single in the fourth inning to lead the way, while freshmen Donielle Mattoon (Coventry, R.I.) and Chelsi Panaralli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and sophomore Mandy Shurgot (Woonsocket, R.I.) each drove in a run.
Senior Danielle Normand (Rumford, R.I.) had two of PSU's four hits in the second game.
PSU is right back into action Sunday with a non-conference make-up doubleheader at Lyndon State (1:00 p.m.). RIC plays a key LEC twinbill Tuesday at home against Western Connecticut (3:30 p.m.)
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