Jackson powers Panthers with two HR and seven RBI
HENNIKER, N.H. – Senior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) had huge day in both ends o the doubleheader Saturday afternoon, lifting Plymouth State University to a sweep of host UMass Boston at the UMB Softball Field.
Jackson finished the day 5-for-7 with a double, two home runs and seven RBI to help the Panthers (16-10, 7-3 Little East) hand the Beacons (9-18, 0-8 Little East) a pair of losses on Senior Day.
Plymouth State jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the opener and held on for a 6-2 victory behind strong performances from Jackson and senior pitcher Nora Galvin (Windham, N.H.). Jackson went a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs and accounted for all four RBI for the Panthers in game one, while freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) added two hits and three runs scored.
Galvin allowed just two runs, one earned, scattering nine hits and two walks and striking out two to improve her record to 6-4.
Plymouth State took a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to some aggressive base-running and an RBI single from Jackson. With a runner at second and one out, Jackson sent a hard grounder through the right-side that plated Lange to make it 1-0. Jackson stole second and moved over to third on a groundout, before coming home on a passed ball.
The Beacons answered with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning, as Morse belted a one out double to left-center and scampered home from third on a Raczkowski RBI single.
Jackson tacked on her second RBI hit of the day in the third inning, as her pop-up into short left-center field dropped in behind the Beacons' defense for a two-out RBI double.
The Panthers pushed their lead to 5-1 in the top of the fifth thanks to a pair of hit by pitches and a Beacons' error. With the bases loaded full of Panthers, Zullo plunked Jackson to bring in a run with one out. Two pitches later, the Beaconn's pick-off throw to third trickled into left-field allowing Lange to scurry home for her third run of the day.
Plymouth State gifted UMass Boston a run right back, as Vecchiet came home to score on a passed ball by the Panthers' catcher with two down in the bottom of the fifth.
Game two proved to be a pitcher's duel as Plymouth State junior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) and UMass Boston's Jillian Shepherd (Norwood, Mass.) went pitch-for-pitch over the full seven innings.
Jackson once again proved to be the thorn in the Beacons' side, as she finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI. Freshman Katie Kennard (Concord, N.H.) added two hits and a pair of runs for the Panthers who finished the week 7-1 in four doubleheaders.
Roberts, who was a Second Team All-Conference honoree last season, allowed just seven hits and one earned run over seven innings. Shepherd was nearly as good in her first LEC start, as she allowed six hits and four earned runs over seven innings. The Beacons' freshman allowed just one hit and zero runs through the first four innings, before Plymouth State managed to score two runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh.
The first three innings flew by with both pitchers putting up zeroes. UMass Boston had the best chance to score for either side in the bottom of the second, but Lange made a great diving catch in center field to rob Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) with the bases full of Beacons.
UMass Boston finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth with one out. Scola singled to center field on a 2-0 pitch and came in to score on the ensuing pitch, when Mitsiaris blasted a double over the center fielder's head.
Plymouth State answered right back though in the fifth inning. With two runners on and one out, Jackson hit a laser into right field to score Lange, with both runners moving up a base on the throw home. Senior Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H.) followed with a deep sacrifice fly to left-center to plate Kennard, which made it 2-1 Plymouth State.
Jackson put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh when she crushed a two-run shot to deep center-field to push the lead to 4-1. UMass Boston managed to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom half of the inning, but Roberts induced a game-ending groundout.
PSU wraps up the regular season this week with three home doubleheaders, beginning Tuesday vs. Middlebury College. The Beacons will return to action Monday afternoon at Curry College.
(Courtesy of UMass Boston Sports Information)
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