Royer and Davis hit home runs to lead Panthers in opener
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University and Western Connecticut State University softball teams split a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at D&M Park, the host Panthers winning the first game, 8-1, and the visiting Colonials taking the nightcap, 9-2.
Senior Julia Royer (Pawcatuck, Conn.) and sophomore Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) hit home runs and senior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) tossed a complete-game six-hitter to lead the Panthers in the opener. Senior Michaela Roche (Bristol, Conn.) and sophomore Kayla Nowak (North Branford, Conn.) went deep for the Colonials and senior Alle Sabith (Meriden, Conn.) allowed just four hits in the complete-game victory in the nightcap.
The split on the day leaves Western Conn. with a 12-14 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the LEC while PSU, which snapped a six-game losing skid in the opener, is now 8-16 and 1-5.
The teams traded early runs in the first game. The Panthers scored one in the bottom of the first without a hit on two walks, a wild pitch and an infield ground out by Royer, and Roche hit her first home run of the season to lead off the second inning.
PSU took control of the game with a six-run second inning. Sophomore Nina Murray (Saugus, Mass.) and junior Emma Rhodes (Rochester, N.H.) delivered RBI singles to start the rally, and a third run came home on a wild pitch. Junior Katie Kennard (Concord, N.H.) brought home a run with a sacrifice fly, and Royer capped the rally with a two-run blast over the left field fence, her first homer of the season.
Roberts did the rest for PSU, keeping the visitors off the scoreboard the rest of the way. She allowed just six hits and no walks, striking out one, to up her record to 3-5. Senior Emily Cintorino (Bristol, Conn.) started for Western and suffered the loss (6-9).
Western took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap as Sabith helped her own cause with a two-run single. PSU tied the game in the third inning when freshman Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) singled and Kennard cracked a two-out blast to left for her second of the season.
The Colonials took the lead for good in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice bunt by Cintorino. Roberts came on to pitch for PSU in relief of starter Callia Abbott (Arco, N.J.) and got the next three batters out on popups to prevent further damage.
Western put up four runs in the fifth inning to take control. Nowak drilled a three-run home run to center field, her fourth of the season, and sophomore Jenna Gaudioso (East Haven, Conn.) added an RBI double to right center. The Colonials tacked on runs in the final two inningson Roche's second home run of the day in the sixth and an unearned run caused by a throwing error in the seventh.
Sabith went the distance for Western, improving her record to 6-4. Abbott went three innings for PSU and suffered the defeat.
Both teams play LEC rivalry doubleheaders on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. as PSU visits Keene State College and Western Conn. travels to Eastern Connecticut State University.
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