Panthers manage just three hits in opening game
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior Mariah Crisp (Greenland, N.H.) tossed a three-hit shutout Thursday afternoon as third-seeded Keene State College blanked fourth-seeded Plymouth State University 4-0 in Game 3 of the Little East Conference Softball Tournament, hosted by Eastern Connecticut State University.
Crisp struck out five and did not walk a batter to post her first shutout of the season. Keene State improves to 15-17 overall and will play again Friday in Game 6 against fifth-seeded University of Southern Maine (23-16), which upset second-seeded Western Connecticut State University in Game 2, 8-7. Plymouth State drops to 13-20 and will meet top-seeded ECSU (26-6-1) Friday at 10:00 a.m., as the Warriors defeated sixth-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Game 1, 9-0 in six innings.
The Owls took the lead in the first inning with an unearned run as junior Stephanie Long (Salem, N.H.) doubled and came around to score on two Panther errors. Keene extended its lead with two runs in the second inning as sophomore Caroline McSherry (Duxbury, Mass.) singled and scored on a double by sophomore Kayla Votto (Durham, Conn.), and Votto came home on Long's second double of the day.
Keene State tacked on another run in the third inning when sophomore Jen Galavotti (Marian, Mass.) cranked her sixth home run of the season.
PSU's best chances to score came in the third and sixth innings. Sophomore Emma Rhodes (Rochester, N.H.) single and classmate Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.) was hit by a pitch to put two runners on base in the third, but Crisp worked out of the jam with a fly out and a ground out. Morrissey singled and went to second on an error in the sixth, and advanced to third on a ground out, but again Crisp retired the next two Panther batters to end the threat.
Freshman Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) laced a one-out double in the seventh inning for PSU and went to third base on a fly out to right, but Crisp closed the door for her first shutout of the season.
Senior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) took the loss for PSU, allowing three earned runs in four innings. Freshman Jessica Pietersen (Norton, Mass.) came on and pitched two scoreless innings of relief.
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