Panther bats come alive; LEC play opens Saturday
SALEM, Mass. – The Plymouth State University softball team opened the New England portion of its schedule Thursday afternoon, sweeping a doubleheader from Salem State University, 12-1 and 5-4, in non-conference action at Alumni Field.
PSU scored 12 runs on nine hits to capture the opener in just five innings, with juniors Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) and Taylor Mancini (Gansevoort, N.Y.) and freshman Shirley Butterfield (Atkinson, N.H./Timberlane) collecting two hits and three runs batted in apiece and junior Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) adding two hits and two RBI.
Senior Jenn Bove (Medford, Mass.) reached base in all five plate appearances to lead the Panther to an eight-hit attack in the nightcap. Bove went 2-for-2 with a triple and three walks, and junior pitcher Nora Galvin (Windham, N.H.) held off the Vikings to post her second win of the season with a complete-game effort.
After scoring single runs in the first two innings of the opener on RBI doubles by Hebert and Mancini, the Panther blew the game open with a five-run third inning. Hebert started the rally with an RBI single; Butterfield had the big hit with a three-run double; and Mancini capped the inning with her second run-scoring double.
The Panthers put the game away with five more runs in the fifth inning. Four straight walks plated the first run, Bove delivered a run-scoring single, and Jackson cleared the bases with a three-run triple.
Sophomore Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) earned the win with a complete-game effort for PSU, allowing just one run to improve to 3-2 on the season.
A two-run Panther rally in the fifth inning of the nightcap broke a 2-2 tie and led to a PSU victory. Hebert doubled home Jackson, who had led off with a walk, and pinch-runner Sara Gaudet (Londonderry, N.H.) scored on a double by Butterfield. The Panthers added an insurance run in the sixth when Bove tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Hebert.
Galvin went the distance to earn the win for PSU. The Vikings had the potential tying run at third base in the seventh inning but Galvin struck out the final two batters to preserve the victory. Galvin finished with a season-high eight strikeout.
The Panthers will open Little East Conference play Saturday with a doubleheader at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
-- 30 --