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Rivier upsets PSU Softball in ECAC New England Tourney

Luisi, Jackson reach milestones for Panthers in setback

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Marissa Mercier cracked a double and a home run and drove in three Wednesday afternoon as fifth-seeded Rivier College upset fourth-seeded Plymouth State University, 5-3, in the opening round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III New England Softball Tournament at PSU's D&M Park.

            Mercier's two-run double in the third inning highlighted a four-run rally that gave the Raiders the lead for good, and her solo homer to lead off the fifth inning provided the visitors an insurance run.  Sophomore pitcher Lauren Beatty held the Panthers scoreless over the final four innings to clinch the victory.

            Rivier, 26-12, advances to the double-elimination tournament this weekend, hosted by top-seeded Brandeis University.  The Judges moved on Wednesday with a 7-1 decision over eighth-seeded Daniel Webster College.  PSU wraps up its season at 21-21.

            The Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead with solo runs in the first two innings.  Sophomore Bekah Jackson led off the bottom of the first with a double to left center field, stole third, and scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Allie Luisi.  Sophomore Taylor Mancini singled up the middle to lead off the second inning and later scored on a wild pitch.

            The Raiders came up with four runs in the third inning.  Sophomores Hilary Tarr and Samantha Gagnon led off with singles and after a sacrifice bunt, classmate Catherine Roy was intentionally walked to load the bases.  A wild pitch brought home one run, and Mercier delivered a double to right to bring home two more.  Mercier then came home on a single up the middle by junior Amanda Thornton.

            PSU got one back in the third inning on an RBI single by junior Calli DeGrace, but that ended up as the final Panther scoring.

            Beatty improved to 11-2 on the season for Rivier, allowing just three runs on seven hits while striking out one.  PSU sophomore Nora Galvin took the loss and dropped to 11-10.

            PSU did reach two milestones in the game.  Luisi had two hits for the Panthers, the first of which set the Plymouth State career hits record; Luisi completes her career with 149 hits, surpassing the mark of 147 by Adriene Harvey (2000-03).  Jackson's steal of third in the first inning was her 25th stolen base of the season, matching the PSU single-season mark held by Kay LaBrie (2010). 

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