Panthers earn sweep in LEC opener
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Plymouth State University softball team extended its winning streak to four straight games with a pair of wins over Rhode Island College in the Little East Conference (LEC) opener for both teams at Dayna A. Bazar Field on Saturday.
Sophomore Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts, including three to escape a seventh inning jam, as the Panthers took game one 3-1, while junior Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) allowed just three hits in a 10-0, six-inning win in game two.
The Panthers move to 11-7 on the year, while Rhode Island falls to 4-6.
The Panthers handed Miller a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) ripped a one-out triple to right field and came home after a double from classmate Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.). After a strikeout for the second out of the inning, senior Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) doubled to left field to score Deyo.
Miller retired the side in order in the first, but the Anchorwomen scratched a run across in the bottom of the second. Back-to-back singles put runners on the corners with nobody out. Miller induced a harmless fly ball then got a strikeout to nearly escape unscathed, but sophomore Marissa Matias (Swansea, Mass.) singled to plate senior Chelsea Schott (Meriden, Conn.). Miller recovered to retire the next batter on a comebacker.
Deyo had a two-out single and stole second in the third, but was stranded after a strike out, while Miller retired the side in order in the bottom half, including a pair of K's. Sophomore Nora Butler (Tewksbury, Mass.) singled in the fourth with one away but didn't advance. RIC got a one out single in the bottom of the inning from junior Briana Gough (West Warwick, R.I.), but she was quickly erased on a caught stealing.
Miller struck out the side in the bottom of the fifth. The Panthers got a runner to third with two out after another Davis double in the sixth but were unable to push the run across.
Plymouth got an insurance run in the seventh. Junior Lindsey Hall (Midlothian, Va.) started the inning with a double and classmate Mel Goss (Templeton, Mass.) bunted her to third. Sophomore Haley Birch (Salem, Conn.) followed with a double to drive in Hall and give PSU a 3-1 lead.
RIC put up a fight in the bottom of the seventh. Gough led off with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. The next batter reached after being hit by a pitch, but Miller recovered to strike out the next two. A walk loaded the bases with two down, but Miller got junior Emma Simmons (Saunderstown, R.I.) swinging to close out the victory.
Miller earned the complete game win to even her record at 5-5. She gave up just five hits and a walk against 12 strikeouts in seven innings. Six of the Panthers' nine hits went for extra bases. Davis (two doubles) and Deyo (double, single) had multi-hit games for PSU.
Junior Erica Fleming (Sagamore Beach, Mass.) allowed two runs on five hits over four innings to take the loss and drop to 2-3. Gough relieved and surrendered one run over the final three innings. Gough had three of the five RIC hits, including the only extra base hit.
Mathieu was brilliant in the nightcap, retiring the first 13 batters she faced.
Plymouth opened the scoring in the top of the third. Junior Kayla Nester (Fairfax, Vt.) singled and moved to second after a sacrifice. Classmate Hannah Seidner (Pembroke, N.H.) singled to move Nester to third and Emerson brought her home with a sacrifice fly. Seidner advanced to second on the out and came home on Deyo's single to give PSU a 2-0 lead.
The Panthers broke the game open in the fifth, plating five runs on just two hits. Senior Mary King (Lancaster, N.H.) worked a leadoff walk. After a sacrifice, Emerson singled and Deyo walked to load the bases. Davis worked a walk to bring in the first run. Gough got a strikeout for the second out, but Hall followed with a two run single. Butler was hit by a pitch and Nester drove in two after an error to make it 7-0.
After a fly out to start the bottom of the fifth, Gough came through with a single for the Anchorwomen's first hit. Matias followed with a single of her own, but Mathieu got a double play ball from the next batter to retire the side.
Four straight singles in the top of the sixth gave the Panthers three more runs. Seidner and Emerson led off with base hits and Deyo drove in one with her single. Davis followed with a single of her own, scoring two to make it 10-0.
Sophomore Shaelyn DaSilveira (Seekonk, Mass.) tripled to start the bottom of the inning. After a strikeout DaSilveira was cut down at the plate on a fielder's choice to preserve the shutout and a strike out ended the game an inning early.
Mathieu struck out eight while giving up just the three hits in her six innings to move to 3-0. Seidner, Emerson, Deyo and Hall all had two hits for the Panthers. Davis drove in three runs, while Deyo, Hall and Nester each drove in two.
Fleming allowed two runs on four hits over the first four innings for the Anchorwomen, suffering the loss for the second straight game to fall to 2-4. Gough was tagged for eight runs, six earned, on six hits and three walks over the final two innings.
Plymouth State heads to Fitchburg State University for a double header on Thursday (Apr. 5) with the first game set to start at 3:00 p.m. RIC travels to Wheaton College on Tuesday (Apr. 3) for a 3:00 p.m. double header.
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