Jackson and Lange power Panthers to sweep
SALEM, Mass. – Senior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) and freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) combined for 11 hits, including five extra base hits, eight runs scored and eight driven in Thursday afternoon as the Plymouth State University softball team swept a doubleheader from Salem State University, 13-1 and 7-5.
PSU pulled out the nightcap with a four-run seventh inning, keyed by a clutch two-out, two-run triple by sophomore Shirley Butterfield (Atkinson, N.H.). The Panthers improve to 4-6 on the season while, the Vikings fall to 4-10.
Jackson drove in four runs on two hits, including a three-run homer, as the Panthers sailed past the Vikings in game one, and she added three hits, including a double and a triple, in the nightcap. Lange had two hits in the opener, including a two-run home run, and contributed heavily in game two, going 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI's.
Senior Nora Galvin (Windham, N.H.) earned the win for PSU in the opener, pitching five innings and allowing three hits and no earned runs while striking out four. Freshman Callia Abbott (Atco, N.J.) came on to close going the final two innings allowing no hits and only one walk while fanning two.
The Panthers got all the offense they would need with a five-run second inning. After loading the bases with one out, junior Cynthia Barata (New Fairfield, Conn.) drew a walk and Jackson singled to score runs, and freshman Nadia Wasuta (Jefferson, N.H.) drove a bases-clearing double that gave the Panthers an early 5-0 lead.
Jackson and Lange each homered as PSU erupted for eight runs in the top of the seventh inning, Jackson with two runners aboard and Lange with one runner on. Sophomore Nicole Abreu (Hudson, N.H.) also doubled to score a run, and freshman Katie Kennard (Concord, N.H.) singled home a run in the rally.
Jackson and Lange continued their hitting showcase in the first inning of the nightcap when Jackson led off with a triple and Lange drove her in with a single. The next batter, Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H.) brought Lange in from second on an RBI double to give Plymouth a 2-0 advantage.
Salem State rallied as Katie Doherty (Tewksbury, Mass.) picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice that scored Paige Fleming (Methuen, Mass.) to cut the Panther lead to just 2-1 in the home half of the second inning. The Vikings' struck again in the third, scoring four times including a DiCredico single that scored two that gave Salem State its first lead of the day at 4-2. Later in the inning, DiCredico scored on a pass ball to raise the Vikings lead to 5-2.
Jackson and Lange were at it again in the fifth inning as Jackson doubled and scored on Lange's single to pull PSU to within 5-3.
The Panthers pulled the game out in the seventh inning. The loaded the bases with one out on a single by Kennard, a double by Lange and walk to Hebert. Senior Jackie Digman (Burlington, Mass.) drove in a run with a fielders' choice and Butterfield delivered the key blow with the two-run triple. Abreu followed with a pinch-hit single to score Butterfield with an insurance run.
The Vikings loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning on a pair of singles and a PSU error, but junior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) retired two pinch hitters to preserve her own victory(2-1) with the complete-game effort.
The Vikings host the Falcons of Fitchburg State for double-header on Saturday, March 29th at noon. The Panthers play the Falcons as well on April 3rd in Fitchburg.
(With contributions from Salem State Sports Information)
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