Panthers use big sixth innings to top defending champs
BOSTON, Mass. – The Plymouth State University softball team used a pair of big sixth innings to sweep the University of Massachusetts Boston in the Little East Conference opener for both teams at UMB Softball Field on Sunday afternoon.
Plymouth State trailed 2-0 in the late stages of the opener, but took the lead after a four-run rally in the sixth and the Panthers held on for a 4-2 win. In game two the Beacons carried a 2-1 advantage into the sixth before the PSU offense scored five times to earn a 6-2 victory.
PSU and UMB have met in the championship game of the last two LEC tournaments.
With the sweep Plymouth State evens its record at 7-7 and goes to 2-0 in the LEC, while UMass Boston drops to 7-7 and 0-2 in league play.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 4, UMass Boston 2 (Game One)
Plymouth State 6, UMass Boston 2 (Game Two)
Plymouth State (7-7, 2-0 LEC)
UMass Boston (7-7, 0-2 LEC)
How it Happened (Game One):
* UMass Boston took advantage of a PSU miscue to plate an unearned run in the first and used a two-out rally to make it 2-0 in the third.
* PSU was held to just two singles through the first five innings, but the offense came up big in the sixth as the first six batters all reached. Senior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) worked a walk to open the frame and classmate Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.) followed with an infield hit.
* Freshman Madison Harris (Randolph, Mass.) took ball four to load the bases and senior Mel Goss (Templeton, Mass.) drove in a run with a base hit to right. Senior Hannah Seidner (Pembroke, N.H.) reached on a fielder's choice to tie the game and junior Jen Landers (Berlin, N.H.) came up with a big two-run double to make it 4-2.
* Plymouth State threatened to add more, but Seidner was cut down at the plate attempting to tag on a fly ball to right and freshman Lauren Archambault (Rehoboth, Mass.) lined out to third to end the inning.
* With two down in the bottom of the inning the Beacons got an infield hit to bring the tying run to the plate, but the next batter flew out to left.
* UMass Boston had one final chance with a runner on first and one out in the seventh, but the Panthers erased the lead runner on a fielder's choice and junior Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) capped off her complete game effort with a strikeout.
Inside the Numbers (Game One):
* Deyo was the lone Panther with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
* Harris (single, walk) also reached twice for PSU, while Seidner and Goss had RBIs.
* Landers' two-run double was the only extra base hit.
* Miller struck out six and allowed just two runs (one earned) over seven full innings. She scattered seven hits to improve to 5-3.
How it Happened (Game Two):
* The Beacons took the lead in the third inning, scoring a run with a two-out single.
* Harris launched her first career home run to center field in the next inning to even the score at 1-1, but the Beacons used another two-out rally in the fifth to retake the lead. With runners at first and second sophomore Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) doubled to right to drive in one. The trail runner attempted to score as well, but Seidner fired to Archambault and her relay throw home was in time.
* Plymouth State took advantage of some shaky defense by the Beacons in the sixth to jump in front. Senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) opened the rally with a walk and was sacrificed to second before Deyo followed with a base hit up the middle and moved into scoring position on the throw to third.
* Harris reached on an infield single to load the bases and Goss tied the game with a clutch hit to left.
* Seidner lifted a sac fly to right to give the Panthers a 3-2 lead and pinch runner Mina Shaw (Mars, Pa.) also came around to score thanks to a Beacons' error. Sophomore Samantha Cushing (Amherst, N.H.) came up next and reached on another error, which allowed Goss to score
* Junior Nora Butler (Tewksbury, Mass.) singled and Landers, running for Cushing at first, came all the way around from first on another UMB miscue.
* The Beacons wouldn't threaten as the Panthers wrapped up the sweep.
Inside the Numbers (Game Two):
* Senior Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) picked up the win after surrendering just two runs over five innings. She struck out three to improve to 2-3 on the year.
* Miller relieved and struck out three over the final two innings.
* Deyo went 3-for-4, while Harris (homer, single) and Butler (single, single) both had two hits for the Panthers.
* Archambault also reached base twice with a single and walk.
* Harris' home run was the first of her career.
* Plymouth State visits Salem State for a non-conference double header on Wednesday (Mar. 27) with game one set for a 4:00 p.m. start.
* The Beacons head to Salve Regina for a pair of games on Tuesday (Mar. 26).
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