Panthers drop opener in eight inn., nightcap in five
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Plymouth State University softball team was handed its first two Little East Conference losses of the season Saturday afternoon, falling to Rhode Island College, 4-3 in eight innings and 11-3 in five innings, in a doubleheader at the Bazar Softball Complex.
Plymouth State saw a 10-game win streak come to an end in the losses and fell to 12-9 overall and 2-2 in the LEC.
The Anchorwomen (12-10, 4-0 LEC) took a 1-0 lead in bottom of the third in game one as senior Emily Johnson (West Kingston, R.I.) came through with an RBI single to center field. The Panthers didn't wait long to tie the game as junior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) singled to center field, but an error on the play allowed her to come all the way around to score.
RIC regained the advantage in the bottom of the sixth as sophomore Justina Thoma (Canterbury, Conn) ripped a double over the center fielder's head and came around to score on freshman Abigail Francis' (Worcester, Mass.) RBI single to center field.
Down 2-1 in the top of the seventh, PSU put runners on second and third after a walk, infield single and a sacrifice. Senior Jenn Bove (Medford, Mass.) staked the visitors to a 3-2 lead with a two-out, two-run bloop single that landed in right center field. RIC loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning on a single, a fielder's choice and a walk, and sophomore Katelyn Sykora (Waterford, Conn.) brought in McCaughey with the tying run on an infield RBI single to shortstop. The Anchorwomen were poised to end the game, but Galvin got RIC to line into a double play and then struck out the next batter to force extra innings.
Francis walked to start the RIC eighth and was sacrificed to second before McCaughey was intentionally walked. Borden followed with a single to load the bases, and Francis came home with the winning run on a Panther outfield error.
The Anchorwomen struck for single runs in both the first and second innings of game two. Jandreau smacked a one-out triple to center field in the opening frame and then scored on a wild pitch, and freshman Tori Lussier (North Franklin, Conn.) reached on an error in the second and later scored on a Borden RBI single.
RIC broke the game open with five runs in the third to open up a 7-0 lead. Johnson started the outburst with an RBI single to center field. Pokora brought in another with an RBI fielder's choice and Thomas dealt a lethal blow with a three-run homer (1).
The Panthers came right back in the top of the fourth as freshman Vanessa Przybylo (Queensbury, N.Y.) singled and junior Taylor Mancini (Gansevoort, N.Y.) doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. Bove brought in one on an RBI fielder's choice; Jackson was credited with an RBI on a ground out to second and senior Calli DeGrace (Plymouth, NH) smacked an RBI single.
The Anchorwomen left no doubt and helped end the game early with a four-run fourth. Borden reached with a bunt single, Jandreau singled to center and Sykora walked to load the bases. The Panthers threw out Borden at the plate, but Pokora dealt the final blow with a grand slam (5) to right field.
Barata (2-for-5), freshman Shirley Butterfield (Atkinson, N.H.) (2-for-6) and Jackson (2-for-7) picked up multiple hits for the visitors. Bove led the way with three RBI for the Panthers.
PSU is back in action Tuesday with a non-conference twin bill at Castleton State College (3:00 p.m.), while Rhode Island College will host Salve Regina Tuesday at 4 p.m.
(Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information)
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