Lange sparks Panthers to win in nightcap
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) had three hits and two RBIs in the second game as Plymouth State University knocked off Eastern Connecticut State University, 7-3, to earn a split of a season-opening Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday at the Eastern Softball Stadium.
Eastern rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull out the opener, 4-3. PSU had scored a tying run in the seventh inning on a lead-off home run by senior Jackie Digman (Burlington, Mass.) to force extra frames, and took the lead with a run in the top of the eighth on a one-out home run by senior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.), but the Warriors came back to win it.
Alyssa Hancock and Mattie Brett stroked doubles with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning to spark the two-run game-winning rally.
Plymouth State has won six of its last seven and is now 7-7 overall and 1-1 in the Little East, while Eastern had its six-game winning streak and completes the day at 7-9 overall and 1-1 in LEC play.
Erin Miller pitched a complete-game six-hitter for Eastern in the opener, evening her record at 4-4. Hancock had four hits in the first game to raise her average to .479 and also walked in five plate appearances. Sam Rossetti drove in Eastern's first two runs with a sacrifice fly in the first and RBI single in the third. Digman collected half of her team's six hits. She singled and tied the game in the second, had a leadoff single in the fourth and hit her tying home run in the seventh.
Plymouth State raked four Eastern pitchers for 11 hits in the second game, building an early 3-0 lead. After the Warriors tied the game, Plymouth scored three times in the fourth on RBI singles by No. 9 batter freshman Emma Rhodes (Rochester, N.H.) and Lange, three walks, a sacrifice bunt and infield throwing error.
Trailing 3-0 in the second game, Eastern got two back in the second on a sacrifice fly from Samantha Rentz and RBI single from Jen Tamindzija, and tied the game in the third when Brett doubled and came home on Rossetti's single. Plymouth avoided further trouble in the inning when leftfielder Shirley Butterfield (Atkinson, N.H.) reached over the fence to rob Eastern cleanup hitter Tyler Keegan and keep the game tied.
Junior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua ,N.H.) tossed her fourth complete game in as many starts to improve to 4-2; she allowed nine hits but didn't walk a batter while fanning two. Batting at the top of the order, Jackson and Lange combined for five hits, two RBI and two runs.
In the doubleheader, Hancock had four hits, Keegan, Brett and Rossetti three each and Tamindzija and Shannon Martin two each. Digman, Lange and Jackson each had three hits and a walk with Digman scoring three runs and Jackson two. Digman and Lange each drove in a pair.
Both teams play make-up LEC doubleheaders Sunday as PSU visits Western Connecticut State University and Eastern hosts Keene State College.
(Courtesy of Eastern Connecticut Sports Information)
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