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PSU knocked out of LEC Softball Tournament

(WCSU Game Box) (KSC Game Box

            PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Fifth-seeded Plymouth State University got knocked out of the Little East Conference softball tournament Friday afternoon with back-to-back losses, falling to fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University in the first game, 9-4, and getting eliminated with an 8-0 setback to second-seeded Keene State College in the following contest.

            The Panthers, who upset Keene State Thursday on the first day of the double-elimination event, finish the tournament with a 22-16 overall record.  PSU will now wait until Monday to find out if it will receive an ECAC New England Tournament berth.

            KSC freshman pitcher Courtney Savoie (Stratham, N.H.) fired a two-hit shutout over PSU and sophomore shortstop Katie Bradford (Lebanon, N.H.) dealt the big blow with a three-run double.  The Owls (24-13) will play the loser of fourth-seeded Western Connecticut and top-seeded Rhode Island College (4 p.m.) Saturday at 10 a.m. in an elimination contest.

            Keene State scored six runs on five hits in the second inning, chasing PSU junior pitcher Jenna George (Cumberland, R.I.) from the game. Freshman Laura Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) and senior Allie D'Amato (Bristol, Conn.) notched RBI singles, while senior Jenna Patnode (Surry, N.H.) contributed a sacrifice fly prior to Bradford's blast to center field.

            PSU senior pitcher Courtney MacFarland (Hampstead, N.H.) came on in relief and held the Owls off the board until the fifth inning. Freshmen Haley Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) and Sam Pratt (West Hartford, Conn.) smacked RBI singles to make it an 8-0 advantage.

            Freshman Heather Blase (Milford, N.H.) collected the Panthers' only hits, going 2-for-2 with a stolen base.

            Western Connecticut scored four times in the second inning against PSU in the earlier game. Sophomore Gina Facchini (Preston, Conn.) scored on a groundout, and junior Rebecca Andruskiwec (Orange, Conn.) followed with a RBI infield single. Freshman Jackie Zilnicki (Riverhead, N.Y.) smacked a hard single to center field that was mishandled, allowing both her and Andruskiwec to score.

            The Panthers got two runs back in the home half of the inning, helped by two WestConn errors. Freshman Allie Luisi (North Kingstown, R.I.) walked with the bases loaded and Blase knocked in another with an infield single.

            PSU tied the game in the fourth as Jenna George and Luisi came home on Blase's two-out, two-run triple.

            The Colonials regained the advantage in the fifth for good, putting runners on second and third with one out. Sophomore catcher Anna Levesque (Waterford, Conn.) plated Zilnicki with an RBI fielder's choice and later scored on sophomore Amy Hartman's (Ellington, Conn.) RBI single.

            The Colonials tacked three runs in the seventh as junior Katelyn Farrell (Stratford, Conn.) doubled and came home on a Facchini single. Hartman then singled and freshman pitcher Meg Dargon (Trumbull, CT) knocked them in with a two-run double.

            Dargon earned the win (12-7), allowing four runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits, while striking out six. MacFarland started for PSU and suffered the loss (12-8).

            PSU's Blase went 2-for-2 with three RBI. 

(Courtesy of RIC Sports Information) 

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