Davis' walk-off wins opener as Panthers rally late in both games
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University softball team rallied late in both games of a Little East Conference (LEC) doubleheader to earn a sweep over Eastern Connecticut State University Saturday at D&M Park.
Senior Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) ripped a booming double to right center field as the Panthers won game one in walk-off fashion, 2-1. In game two the Warriors used a three-run top of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead, but Plymouth scored twice in the bottom of the inning for a 4-3 win.
With the wins Plymouth State moves to 19-11 overall and 7-1 in the LEC. Eastern Connecticut drops to 12-17 and 6-4 in league play.
Starting pitchers Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) and Morgan Bolduk (Vernon, Conn.) traded scoreless innings until the Warriors struck in the top of the fourth. Bolduk helped her own cause with a leadoff single, then scored from first on a long double by sophomore Sabrina LeMere (North Branford, Conn.). LeMere was cut down trying to advance to third, which proved to be a costly out as ECSU added two more singles in the inning, but with runners on the corners and two away Miller induced a harmless ground ball to second to escape further trouble.
Bolduk was overpowering in the circle as the Panthers didn't get a runner to second base until the fifth inning. Sophomore Haley Birch (Salem, Conn.) poked a one-out single to left field and moved up on a sacrifice. Junior Hannah Seidner (Pembroke, N.H.) followed with a single, but Birch was held at third and Bolduk got out of the jam with an infield popup.
Miller breezed through the sixth and the Panthers rallied in the bottom half. Junior Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.) blasted a double over the head of the center fielder and moved up on a ground out. Junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) followed with a ground ball on the infield and Deyo just beat the throw home to tie the game. Sophomore Nora Butler (Tewksbury, N.H.) followed with a base hit and her stolen base put runners on second and third with one out, but Bolduk got a ground ball and popup to retire the side.
Miller followed with another one-two-three inning in the top of the seventh setting up the walk-off win. With one away, Seidner beat out a slow roller for her third hit of the game but was erased on a fielder's choice. After Deyo was hit by a pitch, Davis jumped on an outside pitch and drove it to the gap in right center to easily score junior Lindsey Hall (Midlothian, Va.) from second.
Miller (9-6) scattered six hits while striking out three for the complete game win. In addition to Seidner's three hits, Deyo (2-for-3) and Davis (2-for-4) both had multi-hit games.
Bolduk (8-6) was the tough luck loser, going 6.2 innings while giving up nine hits and striking out four. She also went 1-for-3 at the plate and scored the Warriors' lone run.
PSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the first. Seidner singled and moved to second on a sacrifice. Deyo got a second life when her towering foul popup couldn't be hauled in by the Eastern Connecticut catcher. She took advantage, blasting an RBI double deep to center field. Deyo moved to third after an errant pickoff attempt and came home when Davis singled to right.
Junior Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) made quick work of the Warriors through the first two innings, then worked out of trouble in the third. Sophomore Megan Hodgdon (Cheshire, Conn.) doubled to left center and got to third on a passed ball with one out. Junior Callie Duthrie (Griswold, Conn.) walked to put runners on the corners, but Mathieu got a fly out and ground ball to keep the Warriors off the scoreboard.
The Panthers had a golden opportunity to tack on runs in the fifth. Junior Mel Goss (Templeton, Mass.) reached on an infield hit and Seidner was safe when a bad throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Bolduk came on in relief of sophomore starter Morgan Sanson (Thomaston, Conn.). A bunt moved both runners into scoring position and Deyo was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Bolduk got out of the jam when Goss was erased at home on a fielder's choice and the next batter struck out.
Eastern rallied with three runs in the next half inning. Duthrie singled off the glove of the third baseman and Bolduk added a soft line drive base hit just out of the reach of the leaping PSU shortstop to put the first two runners on. Freshman Alexis Tyrrell (Torrington, Conn.) lofted a fly ball into shallow left center that was dropped by the left fielder, but she alertly fired to third to erase Duthrie. Sophomore Sara Pisanelli (Wallingford, Conn.) pulled an inside pitch down the left field line for a double, the first hard hit ball of the inning, to tie the game. After a fly out, Miller came in to relieve Mathieu and was greeted with a hard single to right field by LeMere to put the Warriors in front, 3-2.
PSU took the lead right back in the bottom of the frame. Butler was hit by a pitch and sophomore Jen Landers (Berlin, N.H.) roped a double to the fence in left center. Butler was nearly erased when Bolduk fielded Birch's comebacker, but she slid back into third under the tag to load the bases with nobody out. Pinch hitter Nina Murray (Saugus, Mass.) followed with a soft ground ball to Bolduk, who came home for the force out. The Eastern catcher attempted to complete the double play at first, but the throw went wide allowing both Landers and Birch to score to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead.
Miller pitched a dominant top of the seventh to earn the win.
Deyo was the only Panther to reach base multiple times, going 2-for-2 and getting the free pass. Mathieu went 5.2 innings giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits while striking out three. Miller needed only 15 pitches to record the final four outs. She allowed just a single and moved to 10-6 after picking up the win.
Sanson was charged with two runs, one earned, in her four innings and Bolduk allowed just a hit and walk in her two innings of relief, but the two unearned runs in the sixth dropped her to 8-7. Hodgdon finished 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and Pisanelli drove in two.
The Panthers are right back in action tomorrow with a pair of games at Keene State College (1:00 p.m./3:00 p.m.). PSU is back at home on Tuesday (Apr. 24) for another LEC twin bill, hosting the University of Southern Maine at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
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