PSU Softball takes LEC pair from UMass Boston

Panthers move into second place in Little East

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) collected six hits and stole five bases Sunday afternoon as Plymouth State University swept a Little East Conference softball doubleheader from the University of Massachusetts Boston, 11-10 and 10-0, at D&M Park.

            Jackson, who extended her hitting streak to 19 games, scored the winning run in the opener on an error in the bottom of the seventh inning after PSU had surrendered a 10-0 lead.  PSU took another 10-0 lead in the nightcap and held on for the five-inning victory.  PSU, 22-13 overall, moves into second place in the LEC with a 7-3 mark, while UMB drops to 11-23 overall and 2-8 in the Little East.

            Junior Jackie Digman (Burlington, Mass.) and senior Calli DeGrace (Plymouth, N.H.) each clubbed home runs for Plymouth State.  Sophomore pitcher Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) recorded the victory in both games, coming on for the final inning-and-a-third of the first game and tossing a five-hit shutout in the nightcap.  Roberts is now 10-4 on the season and ranks second in the LEC in wins.

            PSU plated 10 runs in the first three innings of the opener to open up a 10-0 lead. Junior Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) drove in the first run with an RBI single, and Digman clouted a grand slam to left field to cap a five-run first inning. Freshman Vanessa Przybylo (Queensbury, N.Y.) and Digman added RBI singles in the second inning, and DeGrace, junior Taylor Mancini (Gansevoort, N.Y.) and Hebert all knocked in runs in the third.

            Junior Nora Galvin (Windham, N.H.) didn't allow a hit in the first three innings, but didn't get out of the fourth as UMB rallied for seven runs.  Senior Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.) and junior Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) had RBI singles and sophomore Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) hammered a three-run triple to center field.  Senior Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.) also had two doubles in the inning, scoring a run and driving in a run.

            The Beacons pulled even with two runs in the sixth inning and one in the seventh.  Killilea delivered her third straight double to knock in a run in the sixth, and she came home on a hit by Asta.  Sophomore Sam Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) doubled to lead off the seventh, and after a hit by senior Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass.) put runners at the corners, pinch runner Haley Dutton (Milton, Mass.) came home with the tying run on a fielder's choice by junior Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.)

            PSU pulled out the win in the bottom half of the inning, as Jackson led off with her fourth single of the game, stole second for her third steal of the contest, and scored when a throw on DeGrace's sacrifice bunt got away.

            Plymouth State jumped on top 2-0 in the first inning of the nightcap when Jackson led off with a single off the pitcher's leg, and DeGrace cranked a two-run homer to right-center field, her sixth round-tripper of the year.  Hebert, who was 5-for-6 on the day, drove in PSU's third run with a single to center in the third inning, and the Panthers put the game away with a seven–run fourth inning. Senior Jenn Bove (Medford, Mass.) legged out an RBI triple, Jackson, DeGrace and Hebert followed with RBI singles, and the last three runs came home on UMB outfield errors.

            Roberts allowed just five hits and a walk in the five-inning whitewash, walking one and striking out one. Junior Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) had two of the five hits for UMB.

            The Panthers wrap up the regular season this week with a pair of pivotal LEC doubleheaders, Wednesday at Keene State College and Saturday at home against Western Connecticut State University.  UMB returns home to host the University of Southern Maine for two on Wednesday. 

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