Roberts tosses shutout for Panthers in first game
KEENE, N.H. – Senior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) tossed a complete-game five-hit shutout Sunday afternoon to lead the Plymouth State University softball team to a 5-0 victory over Keene State College in the first game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at Owl Athletic Complex.
Heather Pelletier hit her first home run of the season to lift Keene State to a 5-2 win in the second game, which was the LEC regular season finale for both schools.
The split leaves the two teams tied for third in the LEC standings, both with 8-6 records. Keene State (13-17 overall) will be the No. 3 seed in next week's Little East tournament that begins on Thursday at top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University. The Panthers (13-19 overall) will be the No. 4 seed. KSC claimed the No. 3 seed by virtue of a better regular season record against top seed Eastern Connecticut.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the first game by loading the bases with one out in the third. Keene State looked to be out of trouble when starter Ashlee McGan induced junior Nicole Abreu (Hudson, N.H.). to hit into a fielder's choice that cut down freshman Nina Murray (Saugus, Mass.) at the plate, but the Owls could not end the inning, as a wild pitch brought in sophomore Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.) and freshman Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) singled up the middle for a 2-0 lead.
Davis hit a solo home run that made it 3-0 in the fifth inning, and the Panthers added two more in the sixth thanks to a pair of KSC errors.
Roberts kept KSC in check throughout, allowing one extra base hit while striking out three. Her record improves to 8-8. McGan took the loss, allowing just one earned run and striking out three.
It was the Owls who struck first in the nightcap, getting two runs in each of the first two innings to support starter Mariah Crisp. Stephanie Long walked to open the frame, and moved to second on Aliza Guerrero's single to right field. Jen Galavotti walked to load the bases. Morgan Fallon hit into a fielder's choice that had Long thrown out at the plate, but Newell reached on her own fielder's choice that brought in Guerrero. A Plymouth State error allowed Galavotti to score to make it 2-0.
In the second, Kayla Votto reached on a single to right and stole second. After Long walked for the second time in the game, Guerrero bunted both runners over, and Galavotti laid down another sacrifice bunt to bring Votto around. Fallon followed with an RBI double to right.
The Panthers halved the deficit in the fourth when Morrissey singled and Davis hit her second home run of the day, a two run shot that just got over the fence in right. Davis shares the LEC lead with seven home runs.
Crisp never let the Panthers back in it after that, setting down the final nine batters in order. Pelletier hit a solo home run to lead off the sixth to give KSC some breathing room.
The results mean the Panthers and Owls will meet again in their first game at the LEC tournament. Before that, Keene State will end the regular season by hosting a doubleheader against Westfield State University on Tuesday at 3 p.m.
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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