Mancini delivers game-winning walk-off hit for Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Taylor Mancini (Gansevoort, N.Y.) blooped a bases-loaded single over the first baseman’s head, knocking in two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday afternoon and giving Plymouth State University a 5-4 victory over Western Connecticut State University and a split of their Little East Conference softball doubleheader at D&M Park.
WestConn captured the first game, 6-0, thanks to the shutout pitching of junior Magen Dargon and freshman Stephanie Moss, who limited PSU to four hits and four walks. The doubleheader split leaves the Colonials with a 22-9 overall record and 7-5 conference mark, while PSU is now 17-18 overall and 4-8 in the Little East.
The Colonials had rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh inning of the nightcap in an attempt to complete the sweep. The tying run came on senior Anna Levesque’s line drive off the third baseman’s glove, and the go-ahead run came home on a passed ball.
PSU would not go home without a fight, and put the first two runners on board in the bottom of the seventh with an infield single by sophomore Jenn Bove (Medford, Mass.) and a walk by freshman Jackie Digman (Burlington, Mass.). After a sacrifice bunt moved over the runners and an intentional walk loaded the bases, freshman Sam Hebert (Mancheser, N.H./Memorial) lined out to right field, but not deep enough to get the runner home from third. Mancini stepped in and ended the game with her single to the right side, with Bove and Digman scoring the tying and winning runs in a close play at the plate.
Dargon worked six innings in the opener for WestConn, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out seven to earn the victory. She pitched the first four innings of the nightcap as well as the seventh, and the loss gives her a 14-4 record for the season.
Senior Meghan Mammone led the Colonial hitters in the opener, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. Junior Danielle Basciano, Jackie Zilnicki and senior Luigina Facchini collected two hits apiece.
PSU managed just four hits in the opener, two apiece by Bove and Digman.
Both teams wrap up the regular season on Sunday with Little East make-up doubleheaders. WestConn returns home to host Rhode Island College while PSU plays host to the University of Massachusetts Boston. Both schools will also celebrate Senior Day at their home fields on Sunday.
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