Panthers win opener to take solid hold on third place in LEC
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Plymouth State University and Rhode Island College split a Little East Conference softball doubleheader Sunday afternoon at the Bazar Softball Complex, PSU winning the opener 7-5 before RIC took the nightcap, 11-3 in six innings.
The Panthers had their seven-game winning streak stopped in the nightcap, as the Panthers are now 11-14 overall and solidly in third place in the LEC with a 6-3 mark. PSU is also 11-3 since returning from Florida. The Anchorwomen are now 6-18 overall and 2-8 in the conference.
The Panthers struck first in the opening frame of game one as freshman Kim Leiter (Manchester, N.H.) walked, stole second, was sacrificed to third and scored on an Anchorwomen error. PSU tacked on two more in the second inning as senior Cynthia Barata (New Fairfield, Conn.) scored on an RBI triple by sophomore Emma Rhodes (Rochester, N/H/). Leiter followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center to bring in Rhodes and make it a 3-0 ballgame.
The visitors increased their advantage to 4-0 in the third as freshman Nina Murray (Saugus, Mass.) smacked a two-out triple to right center and came across on an RBI single by senior Sam Madore (Bristol, Conn.). Plymouth State struck again in the fourth with two down as a RIC error prolonged the frame. Junior Nicole Abreu (Hudson, N.H.) contributed an RBI single and later scored on a double from freshman Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) as the Panthers built a 6-0 lead.
The Anchorwomen finally broke through against senior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) in the home half of the fourth. Junior Tori Lussier (North Franklin, Conn.) and sophomore Sarah Molin (Seymour, Conn.) led off with back-to-back singles and scored on sophomore Lauren Duvall's (East Greenwich, R.I.) two-run triple. Junior Katelyn McCaughey (Warwick, R.I.) knocked in Duvall with a single through the ride side and later scored on a throwing error to help the hosts pull within a pair of runs, 6-4.
PSU got a run back in the fifth on a Leiter RBI single. Trailing, 7-4, heading into their last at-bat, RIC opened the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles from senior Justina Thoma (Canterbury, Conn.) and sophomore Mary Sweeney (Portsmouth, R.I.), which was followed by a Lussier walk to load the bases. Thoma came home on a Duvall RBI fielder's choice, but Roberts got a pair of pop-outs to secure the win.
Roberts earned the win (7-6), allowing four earned runs on 10 hits to go along with five strikeouts. Duvall took the loss (2-5), surrendering four earned runs on nine hits to go along with three strikeouts. McCaughey hurled two innings of scoreless relief.
PSU struck first once again in the nightcap, going up 1-0 in the second inning. Abreu walked and was lifted for junior pinch runner Ariel Eisenhauer (Farmington, Conn.). Davis followed with a single to left, and after a pair of outs, Murray came through with an RBI single down the left field line to plate Eisenhauer.
RIC came right back with two runs in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead. Sweeney led off with a single, moved over to second on a groundout and scored on an RBI double by Duvall. An error kept the inning alive and McCaughey plated the go-ahead run with an RBI groundout. The Anchorwomen added a run in the third as sophomore Lauren DiScuillo (East Greenwich, R.I.) led off with a double down the right field line, advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on a Lussier RBI single to left field.
A RIC error in the fourth proved to be costly and Plymouth freshman Taylor Wood (Londonderry, N.H.) made the hosts pay with a two-run homer (1) to left field that tied the game up, 3-3.
Rhode Island College regained the lead, 5-3, in the bottom of the frame as junior Abigail Francis (Worcester, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch and Thoma followed with an RBI single. RIC ripped off six runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the game early and secure an 11-3 victory. Thoma notched an RBI double and Lussier picked up an RBI single to get the rally started. Duvall dealt the big blow with a bases-loaded-clearing double and Francis ended the game with a double.
McCaughey hurled the complete game to earn the win (2-9). She allowed two earned runs on six hits to go along with three strikeouts. PSU freshman Jessica Pietersen (Norton, Mass.) took the loss (4-4).
On the day, McCaughey allowed just two earned runs on seven hits in eight innings of work. She struck out five and knocked in a pair of runs as a hitter. Duvall went 4-for-8 with three runs scored, four hits, two doubles, a triple and six RBI. Lussier went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and a pair of RBI.
Davis went 4-for-7 with one run scored and an RBI for the Panthers.
PSU remains in Southern New England overnight and will play a make-up game at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Monday morning at 10:00 a.m.
(Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information)
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