Panthers fall again to two-time defending national champions
CLERMONT, Fla. – The Plymouth State University softball team came alive for seven runs and 17 hits in two games Thursday morning but the Panthers went down to defeat to a pair of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) teams, including the two-time defending national champions.
The Panthers dropped the first game of the day to Trinity College (Connecticut), 7-4, and were defeated by the two-time champion Tufts University in the second game, 9-3. It marked just the third time in nine games this season that the undefeated Jumbos (9-0) have been forced to play all seven innings, and the three runs PSU scored against them is the second highest total this spring.
Freshman Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) led the Panthers against Trinity with two hits, including her first home run of the season with a first inning grand slam. Freshman Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.) and sophomore Nicole Abreu (Hudson, N.H.) sandwiched singles around a walk to sophomore Katie Kennard (Concord, N.H.) to set up Davis' blast.
PSU managed just three hits the rest of the way, including a double by freshman Allison Moylan (Methuen, Mass.). The Bantams came back to tie the game with four runs in the third inning and rallied for the win with one run in the fifth inning and two insurance runs in the seventh inning. Senior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) started in the circle for PSU and took the loss.
After managing just one hit off Tufts ace Allyson Fournier earlier in the week, PSU pounded out 11 hits against the Jumbos on Thursday. Davis, senior Cynthia Barata (New Fairfield, Conn.) and freshman Jessica Pietersen (Norton, Mass.) collected two hits apiece, with Pietersen, Barata and freshman Taylor Wood (Londonderry, N.H.) each legging out a double.
PSU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Davis and Abreu hit two-out singles and Pietersen delivered an RBI single to right. The score held until Tufts tied it in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Bri Keenan.
The Panthers pulled ahead 3-1 with two runs in the top of the sixth inning when Barata doubled home a run and then scored on a single by freshman Lisa Osborne (Gilmanton, N.H.). The Jumbos answered with an eight-run rally on seven hits in the bottom half of the inning to take control of the game.
Sophomore Callia Abbott (Atco, N.J.) did not allow a hit for PSU for three-and-a-third innings but departed after allowing one run and six walks. Pietersen came on in relief and suffered the loss.
PSU wraps up its Florida trip on Friday with two more games against Babson College and Hope College (Michigan), beginning at 9:00 a.m.
-- 30 --