WORCESTER, Mass.—The Worcester State University softball team swept the visiting Bridgewater State University Bears by scores of 9-8 and 8-7 on Friday afternoon in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action.
With the pair of wins, the Lancers improve to 9-13 on the season and 4-2 in the MASCAC. The Bears dip to 9-15 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
GAME ONE: Worcester State 9, Bridgewater State 8
The Lancers slipped past Bridgewater State with a close score of 9-8 in the first game of the afternoon as Rachel Couto (Chelmsford, Mass.) had three hits and teammates Courtney Salisbury (Cranston, RI), Dakota Smith-Porter (Montague, Mass.), Kayla Humphrey (Wallingford, CT), and Kristen Huston (Spencer, Mass.) registered two hits apiece.
The Lancers rapped out 14 hits with Salisbury going 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.
Bridgewater scored two runs in the first and two more in the second to take an early 4-1 lead. Jackie Welch (Hubbardston, Mass.) and Flaherty connected for RBI singles in the first, while Leddy and Grindle had back-to-back RBI base hits in the second.
Salisbury's two-run double in the bottom of the second cut the Worcester deficit to one. The Lancers then scored four runs on six hits and one error in the third to take a 7-4 lead.
Bridgewater battled back with a run in the fourth as Leddy scored on Welch's sacrifice fly. The Bears then plated three runs in the top of the sixth to jump ahead, 8-7. A pair of walks, two hit batsmen, a wild pitch and a run scoring ground out accounted for BSU's three runs in the frame.
Worcester scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to win the game in walk-off fashion. The Lancers capitalized on a pair of BSU errors, including a dropped fly ball with two outs which allowed the winning run to score.
Worcester State's Mary McKeown (Shrewsbury, Mass.) earned the win in the circle, improving her record to 3-2. Bridgewater State's Mackenzie Holt (Gilroy, Calif.) took the loss, pitching four innings in relief of starter Kathleen Bailey (Bayport, N.Y.).
GAME TWO: Worcester State 8, Bridgewater State 7
The Lancers edged the Bears by a score of 8-7 in the second game of the afternoon as Worcester State's Kaci Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) connected for the game-winning home run in the top of the fifth inning.
Panarelli went 2-for-3 with a game-high three RBI in the win. Sydney Despres (Sterling, Mass.) and Couto also finished 2-for-3 at the plate. Salisbury went 3-for-4 with two runs and two doubles to pace the Worcester offense.
For the visitors, Flaherty went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, while Leddy, Grindle and Morgan Cox (Dennis Port, Mass.) collected two hits apiece. Cox connected for her second home run of the season.
The Lancers got on the board quick, as they scored three runs in the top of the first inning on RBI's from Despres, Couto and Smith-Porter.
The Bears, however, responded with four runs on four hits and one Lancer error in the top of the second. The first hit was a solo shot to left field from Cox. Bridgewater State managed to score three additional runs on run-scoring hits from Shaffer and Leddy and a Worcester State error.
The Lancers stole back the lead in the bottom of the third on a two-run single from Panarelli, but Grindle knotted the score at 5-5 with an RBI single in the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, a run scoring single by Couto and a fielder's choice RBI ground out by Smith-Porter gave Worcester a 7-5 lead. The Bears, however, got the two runs right back in the top of the fifth as Samantha LoPilato (Medford, Mass.) knocked in Cox with an RBI ground out and Courtney Gouveia (Taunton, Mass.) followed with an RBI single scoring Flaherty.
Panarelli broke the tie with a blast over the centerfield fence.
Humphrey tossed two innings of scoreless relief to record the save. Mary McKeown (Shrewsbury, Mass.) picked up the win in relief of starter Carly Zielinski (Monson, Mass.). McKeown allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in three innings of relief.