BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Freshman Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.) belted a walk-off three-run homer to lead the Bridgewater State University softball team to a MASCAC doubleheader split with Westfield State University on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Park.
Grindle's blast gave the Bears (8-12, 2-2 MASCAC) a 4-1, nine inning victory in game two of the twinbill. The visiting Owls (9-7, 3-1 MASCAC) posted a 7-2 win in the opener.
With the score knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth of the nightcap, the Bears put two runners on with one out as junior Kacie Carvalho (Fairhaven, Mass.) reached on an infield single and senior Courtney Leddy (Saugus, Mass.) followed with a base hit to left field.
Grindle then blasted her second career home run over the left-center field fence to win the game.
Westfield had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on sophomore Maddy Atkocaitis' (Westfield, Mass.) second home run of the afternoon, a solo shot over the center field fence.
Bridgewater tied it in the bottom of the fifth as senior Breanna Shaffer (Plainville, Mass.) reached on a two-base throwing error with one out. Two batters later, Leddy singled to put runners on the corners with two away. Grindle followed with a line single up the middle to plate Shaffer with the tying run.
The Bears put two runners on with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth but were unable to score. Bridgewater also loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but a double play line out ended the threat.
The Bears, who banged out 13 hits in the contest, left 11 runners on base, while the Owls stranded eight.
BSU freshman pitcher Deianeira Underhill (Rochester, Mass.) pitched very well for the Bears in the complete game effort as she recorded her second win of the season. Underhill (2-0) allowed one run and scattered eight hits over nine innings. She threw 91 pitches, including 63 for strikes, and did not issue a walk.
Grindle went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run and four RBI in game two. Carvalho (3-for-5) and senior Morgan Cox (Dennis Port, Mass.) finished with three hits apiece, while Leddy finished 2-for-5 and junior Kristyna Flaherty (Burlington, Mass.) went 2-for-4.
Senior Julia Sullivan (West Barnstable, Mass.) picked up the tough-luck loss in the circle for the Owls. Sullivan gave up four runs (three earned) on 13 hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Sophomore Bri Tortora (Worcester, Mass.), senior Liz Kelly (Quincy, Mass.) and sophomore Caitlin Hughes (Hanson, Mass.) each went 2-for-4 to pace the Owls' eight-hit attack.
In the opener, Westfield jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Atkocaitis' three-run blast in the top of the first inning.
After the Bears responded with a run in the bottom of the first on Grindle's RBI base hit, the Owls tacked on single runs in the second and third innings and added two more in the fourth to take a commanding 7-1 lead.
Sophomore Sarah Eugenio (Marshfield, Mass.) recorded the complete game victory for the visitors as she remained unbeaten on the season. Eugenio (7-0) allowed two runs on 12 hits. She did not walk anyone and fanned one.
Bridgewater outhit Westfield in game one by a margin of 12-11, but left 11 runners on base.
Grindle was once again at the center of the BSU offense as she went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Flaherty and senior Jackie Welch (Hubbardston, Mass.) also recorded multiple hits for the Bears as they both went 2-for-4 at the dish.
Kelly paced the Owls' offense with three hits in four at bats with a run scored. Hughes went 2-for-3 with a double and a run, while junior Angelica Banning (East Granby, Conn.) singled twice and scored a run in four trips to the plate. Tortora singled and walked twice in four plate appearances with two runs and an RBI.
Senior Kathleen Bailey (Bayport, N.Y.) went the distance in the circle in the loss for the Bears. Bailey (5-10) gave up seven runs on 11 hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
In upcoming action, the Bears travel to UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday afternoon for a non-conference doubleheader with the Corsairs. First pitch for game one is slated for 3:15. The Owls head to Keene State College for a pair of games with the Owls starting at 3:30.