GORHAM, Maine - Plymouth State University split a Little East Conference softball doubleheader at the University of Southern Maine Tuesday afternoon at Towers Field, winning the first game 6-5 after holding off a four-run USM rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, then dropping the nightcap 3-1 in extra innings when freshman 3B Stacey Stuart (Belgrade, Maine) blasted a walk-off home run.
Southern Maine moves to 14-16 overall and 5-7 in the Little East, while Plymouth State stands at 20-12 overall and 3-9 in the conference. Each team has two LEC games remaining. PSU also reached 20 wins in a season for the fourth time in the program's history.
The Panthers led 6-1 through six and a half innings of the first
game, taking advantage of three USM field errors while pounding out
10 hits. Sophomore 3B Kay LaBrie
(Somersworth, N.H.), senior 2B Danielle Normand
(Rumford, R.I./East Providence) and freshman catcher Laura
Kaplan (Franklin, N.H.) had two hits a piece, while
freshman 1B Melissa Caiazzo (Portland,
Maine/Deering) drove in two runs for the Panthers.
Trailing 6-1 in the bottom of the seventh, USM connected on three hits and took advantage of two Plymouth State errors to plate four runs. Sevigny drove in three runs with her sixth home run of the season. With her second home run in three games, Sevigny tied for the USM single season record in home runs.
Panther sophomore Kat Roland (Norton, Mass.) picked up her ninth win of the season to improve to 9-4. Roland allowed five earned runs on 11 hits without a walk while striking out three as the Huskies stranded nine base runners in the game. USM sophomore Sarah Deroche (Portland, Maine), who struck out five, gave up just two earned runs on eight hits and five walks.
Stuart smashed her second home run of the season over the left field fence in the eighth inning of the nightcap. Junior SS Anita Dixon (Limington, Maine) came around to score on the play after leading off the inning with a single.
Riding solid pitching efforts, both teams were held scoreless until the sixth inning. Plymouth State grabbed a 1-0 lead on a two-out RBI double from freshman 3B Kortney Nedeau (Kennebunk, Maine), driving in junior OF Leanne Barry (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton Academy).
Southern Maine rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning when junior C Sabrina Sevigny (Sanford, Maine) cracked a double to left center field to score Dixon, who led off the inning with a bloop single to center field.
Senior pitcher Kristina Grondin (Sanford, Maine) earned the win for the Huskies scattering four hits over eight innings. She allowed one earned run and struck out eight batters to improve to 9-3 on the season. PSU junior Courtney MacFarland (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) took the loss
Southern Maine returns to action Wednesday (4:00 p.m.) in a single game against in-state rival St. Joseph's College at home. Plymouth State hosts Middlebury in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m.
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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