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Roberts leads PSU Softball past Southern Maine

Panthers sweep Little East twin bill from Huskies

            GORHAM, Maine – Junior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H./Kennett) earned her eighth and ninth wins of the season Monday afternoon, pitching back-to-back games to lead the Plymouth State University Panthers to a Little East Conference softball doubleheader sweep of the University of Southern Maine Huskies, 4-3 and 11-2, at Towers Field.

            With the pair of wins, Plymouth State extends its winning streak to six games and improves its record to 13-9 overall and 5-3 in the Little East. The pair of losses stopped a three-game win streak for the Huskies who fall to 12-15 and 2-6 in the conference.

            Roberts fired 14 full innings over two game, yielding four earned runs on 14 hits and just three walks.  She struck out eight to improve her record to 9-3 on the season.

            PSU senior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) blasted a three-run home run In the first game to put the Panthers ahead of the Huskies 4-3.  Jackson drove in freshman Nadia Wasuta (Jefferson, N.H.) and senior Taylor Mancini (Gansevoort, N.Y.).  Mancini struck out but reached first on a passed ball, while Wasuta laced a single to left field.

            The Panthers trailed Southern Maine 3-1 heading into the inning.  USM struck for the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the third when freshman Samantha Crosman (South Berwick, Maine) stroked her team-leading 11th double of the season. Crosman collected her 16th RBI of the season driving in junior Lily Cooper (Lamoine, Maine).  Cooper led off the inning with a walk.

            Plymouth State made it 2-1 in favor of the Huskies in the top of the fourth.  Senior Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) hit her first home run of the season over the right field fence for the Panthers' first run of the game.  Hebert's home run could have tied the score, but USM rookie catcher Samantha DiBiase (South Portland, Maine) cut down her second attempted base stealer of the game to save a run.  In the home half of the fourth, DiBiase followed up her strong defensive play driving in the Huskies' third run of the game with an RBI single through the left side for a 3-1 USM advantage.

            After Jackson's three-run blast in the top of the fifth, but Roberts retired the Huskies' next six batters in order.  A quite top of the seventh, left USM trailing PSU 4-3 heading to its final at bats.  DiBiase had a one-out single to start the USM offense.  The Huskies' runner advanced to third on a ground out, but Roberts got the final Huskies' batter with a ground out to secure her eighth win of the season.

            In the second game, Plymouth State broke open a close game in the top of the seventh, plating eight runs en route to the 11-2 win.  The Panthers held a modest 3-2 lead heading into their final at bats before ringing up eight runs on nine hits. PSU pounded out 17 hits in the second game of the doubleheader. Sophomore Nicole Abreu (Hudson, N.H./Alvirne) and junior Cynthia Barata (New Faifield, Conn.) each had three hits and two RBI.

            Southern Maine senior Stefanie Stockwell (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) took the loss in the circle for both games. The game one and game two starter, Stockwell pitched seven inning and allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks in the opener while striking out five.  In the second game, Stockwell pitched 6.1 inning allowing 11 earned runs on 15 hits. She is now 8-8.

            Southern Maine travels to Bates College on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.) for a non-conference doubleheader.   Plymouth State hosts Castleton State on Thursday (3:30 p.m.) in a non-conference doubleheader, the home opener at D&M Park. 

(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)

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