Panthers score 24 runs on 31 hits in twin bill
HENNIKER, N.H. – The Plymouth State University softball team scored 24 runs on 31 hits Sunday afternoon en route to sweeping a non-conference doubleheader from New England College. The Panthers took game one 12-0 in five innings and followed that with a 12-4 game two victory in six innings.
The Panthers have now won four in a row to improve their record to 11-9 on the season, while the Pilgrims fall to 5-11 overall.
Junior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) was the winning pitcher in both games, improving her record to 7-3 on the season. She pitched her second straight shutout in the opener, allowing just three hits in five innings while striking out four. She pitched five innings of relief in the nightcap, allowing just one run on four hits, fanning six. The run she allowed in the second frame broke her streak of 13 scoreless innings.
Plymouth State got all the runs it would need in the top of the second inning as the Panthers pounded out eight hits batting through the order. The scoring was highlighted by a double off the bat of senior Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H.), a two-run single by freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) and a two-run single by Hebert in her second at bat of the inning.
PSU tacked on a run in the third as freshman Katie Kennard (Concord, N.H.) hit a leadoff double to right center and came around to score on a double off the left center field fence by junior Cynthia Barata (New Fairfield, Conn.). Plymouth would add four unearned runs in the top half of the fifth inning and hold NEC scoreless in the home half of the inning en route to the game one victory.
Senior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) finished the game 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs batted in, while Hebert drove in two runs on two hits.
Jackson opened game two with a solo homerun to center field and the Panthers added an additional opening inning score on an RBI single by Kennard to take an early 2-0 lead.
NEC would respond with three runs of its own in the bottom of the first as Alexandra Swanson (Wethersfield, Conn.) cracked a two-run double to left field and then scored on a throwing error. The Pilgrims added a run in the second inning as Rebecca Allen (E. Pachogue, N.Y.) knocked in Taylor Belsito (Millbury, Mass.) who singled earlier in the inning, to pull ahead, 4-2
Plymouth State plated two runs in the third inning on a bases-loaded walk by freshman Nadia Wasuta (Jefferson, N.H.) and a sacrifice fly by freshman Emma Rhodes (Rochester, N.H.), knotting the game at 4-4. The Panthers took the lead with three unearned runs in the fourth inning as sophomore Julia Royer (Stonington, Conn.) and Wasuta delivered RBI hits.
PSU continued to control the offense closing out the game with five more runs en route to the victory. Lange had an RBI single to highlight the fifth inning rally and a two-run single to spark the sixth-inning rally.
Lange finished game two 3-for-5 at the plate with three runs scored and three runs driven in. Jackson also finished with three hits and three runs scored, while Jackie Digman (Burlington, Mass.) had three hits for the Panthers in game two.
Plymouth State will hit the field again on Monday when the Panthers travel to take on Little East Conference foe University of Southern Maine. NEC returns to action on Thursday when it hosts non-conference opponent Fisher College.
(Contributions from New England College Sports Information)
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