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March 19, 2014

PSU Softball falls to defending national champion Tufts

Lange provides Panther highlight with two-run homer

            CLERMONT, Fla. – The Plymouth State University softball team matched up against the defending Division III national champions and this year's second-ranked team Wednesday afternoon in a spring trip game, falling to Tufts University, 5-2.

            Senior Jo Clair hit two home runs for the Jumbos and junior pitcher Allyson Fournier struck out 19 Panther batters. Clair doubled and scored in the first, hit a solo home run with one out in the third and hit another solo shot in the sixth. That led the Jumbos to improving to 5-1 overall.

            Fournier, striking out Panthers left and right, had a two-hit shutout through five innings. PSU senior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) had led off the game with a bunt single, and freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) had singled with one out in the fourth.

            However, Lange got to Fournier for a two-run home run in the top of the sixth that reduced Tufts' lead to 3-2 at the time. Fournier had hit Jackson with a pitch to start the inning.

            Clair's second home run put Tufts ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Freshman Cassie Ruscz followed with a single and she eventually scored on a base hit by sophomore SS Christina Raso for the 5-2 final.

            Lange finished 2 for 3 with two RBI and a run for Plymouth State, which dropped to 0-3. Senior Nora Galvin (Windham, N.H.) took the loss in the pitcher's circle for the Panthers, allowing six hits and five runs with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings.

            Fournier, now 3-0, recorded 19 of the 21 outs by strikeout. She allowed three hits and the two runs with no walks in seven innings. Clair now has three home runs this week.

            PSU will have a busy morning on Thursday, resuming its delayed game against Endicott College beginning at 7:30 a.m., followed by games at 9 and 11 a.m. against  Wesleyan (Conn.) and Ramapo (N.J.), respectively.

(Courtesy of Tufts Sports Information) 

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