BOSTON, Mass. - The Plymouth State University softball team rallied from four runs down with six runs in the sixth inning Saturday afternoon to pull out the second game against the University of Massachusetts Boston, 7-5, and earn a split of the Little East Conference doubleheader at UMB's Clark Athletic Center.
The Beacons captured the first game in eight innings, 5-4, thanks to a pair of doubles in the extra frame. The doubleheader split give PSU a 21-14 overall record and 6-8 LEC mark to conclude the regular season, while UMD completes its campaign at 11-21 overall and 3-11 in conference play.
The Panthers will advance to the LEC Tournament beginning next Thursday at top-seeded Rhode Island College. PSU will be the fifth seed in the double-elimination tournament and will have an opening round game against the second seed, which has not yet been determined.
Senior Jenn Widener (Hyde Park, Mass.) tripled home two runs in the third inning of the nightcap to put UMB up 4-1. The Beacons tacked on another run in the fifth inning on a RBI single by freshman Ashley Faiella (Hyde Park, Mass.).
Trailing 5-1, PSU would not go quietly, and exploded for six runs in the sixth. Sophomore Andrea Pydynkowski (Danvers, Mass.) and senior Rachel Pothier (Reading, Mass.) started the scoring with RBI singles, and sophomore Laura Kaplan (Franklin, N.H.) followed with a two-run single to tie the game at 5-5. Senior Heather Bartolo (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton), pinch running for Pothier, came home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, and senior Leanne Barry (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton) brought home an insurance run with an RBI single.
Junior Jenna George (Cumberland, R.I.) pitched the first five innings for PSU and recorded the victory, improving to 8-5. Freshman Ali Keith (Northfield, N.H./Winnisquam) came on and pitched two scoreless innings to record her first save.
The Beacons took a 3-0 lead in the first game, thanks in part to a first-inning RBI single by sophomore Elisa LaRoche (Westford, Mass.) and a third-inning hit by classmate Christina Polsonetti (Revere, Mass.).
PSU got on the board in the fourth inning when sophomore Kortney Nedeau (Kennebunk, Maine) smacked a two-run home run, her fourth of the season. The Panthers took the lead with two runs in the fifth inning on a RBI single by Nedeau and a UMB infield error.
The Beacons answered with the tying run in the bottom of the sixth when Widener tripled and scored on an infield grounder, and then won it in the eighth inning on a RBI double by Polsonetti.
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