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April 24, 2013

PSU Softball splits twin bill at Keene State

Panthers win nightcap 9-1 after falling 1-0 in opener

            KEENE, N.H. – The Plymouth State University softball team split a Little East Conference doubleheader with rival Keene State College Wednesday at the Owl Athletic Complex, the host Owls pulling out a 1-0 win in the bottom of the seventh inning in the opener and the Panthers rebounding with an 9-1, five-inning victory in the nightcap.

            Sophomore Samantha Nitso (Londonderry, N.H.) knocked in the only run of the game in the opener with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Freshman pitcher Mariah Crisp (Greenland, N.H.) tossed a complete game three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts.

            Junior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.), who had her 19-game hitting streak snapped in the opener, went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Panthers in the nightcap.  Sophomore Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) gave up just one run on five hits with three strikeouts, improving to 11-4 on the season.

            Plymouth State improves to 8-4 in LEC games, sole possession of second place and two games behind league-leading Eastern Connecticut.  The eight LEC wins is the most for PSU in a season since the 2003 team finished 9-5 in conference play. The Panthers also moved to 23-14 overall, the most wins in a season since the 2009 squad finished 24-18. The split leaves Keene State at 19-12 overall and 7-5 in the LEC.

            Scoring opportunities were few in an opening game pitchers dual between Crisp and Panther junior Nora Galvin (Windham, N.H.), who gave up just one unearned run on three hits with six strikeouts.  PSU left two runners on base in the second and KSC left two runners aboard in the bottom of the inning.

            The Owls took advantage of two Panther fielding errors in the seventh with one out to put runners on first and second.  After junior Molly Dussault (Weare, N.H.) struck out, Nitso lined a single to left field to score pinch runner freshman Heather Pelletier (Auburn, N.H.) with the game-winning run.

            The Panthers scored two runs in the first inning and single runs in the second and third to take a 4-0 lead in the second game.  Jackson led off the first with a triple and scored on a wild pitch, and PSU scored its second run on an error. Senior Calli DeGrace (Plymouth, N.H.) hit an RBI single in the second and sophomore Cynthia Barata (New Fairfield, Conn.) added an infield single to short that brought home another run in the third.

            KSC got its only run in the fourth on an infield single by freshman Anna Glassman (East Granby, Conn.).

            Plymouth plated five runs in the top of the fifth to break the game open.  Jackson had the key hit in the inning a three-run triple, and an error allowed her to score on the play.  Jackson, who earlier set PSU season records for runs scored, triples, and total bases, set a new school record for RBIs (40) and tied her own season mark for stolen bases (25) in the second game.

            Juniors Jackie Digman (Burlington, Mass.), Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H.), freshman Vanessa Przybylo (Queensbury, N.Y.) and DeGrace each finished the game with two hits for the Panthers.

            Keene State hosts Amherst College on Friday (3:30 p.m.).   Plymouth State wraps up the regular season against Western Connecticut in a LEC twin bill Saturday on Senior Day at D&M Park (12 p.m.) 

(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information) 

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