BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University softball team split a non-conference doubleheader with visiting Wheaton College on Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Park.
Wheaton won the opener, 13-4, in five innings, while Bridgewater State earned the split with a 7-6 victory in game two.
The host Bears see their record go to 11-15 on the season, while the visiting Lyons are now 9-19.
Wheaton exploded for 11 runs over the first two innings and took advantage of some shaky BSU defense as the Lyons cruised to the 13-4 victory.
Wheaton jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a three-run home run off the bat of sophomore first baseman Jade Assad (Lambertville, N.J.).
The Lyons then took advantage of four BSU errors to plate eight unearned runs in the second inning and take a commanding 11-0 advantage. Freshman second baseman Hannah Arkin (New Hyde Park, N.Y.), freshman right fielder Jessica Nardozza (Chester, N.H.) and junior catcher Emily Schlapak (Dover, N.H.) each rapped RBI singles in the frame, while freshman shortstop Allicyn Cole (Douglas, Mass.) and junior center fielder Lily Ongkiko (Joliet, Ill.) both walked with the bases loaded.
Freshman right fielder Alexandra Ruprecht (Kingston, Mass.) belted a grand slam, her second home run of the season, to get the Bears on the board in the bottom of the fourth and cut the deficit to 11-4.
Assad's two-run single in the top of the fifth extended the Wheaton lead to 13-4.
Assad finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, two runs scored and five RBI. Ongkiko went 2-for-3 with a double, three run and two RBI, while junior third baseman Chloe Woodward (Bellingham, Mass.) also registered multiple hits for the Lyons.
Senior pitcher Allison Cox (Torrance, Calif.) went the distance in the circle for Wheaton as she allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Sophomore pitcher Deianeira Underhill (Rochester, Mass.) took the loss for the Bears. Underhill gave up 11 runs, only three of which were earned, on nine hits with three walks. Sophomore Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, Mass.) pitched well in relief as she allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Bridgewater made six errors in the opener which led to nine unearned runs.
Sophomore first baseman Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.) homered and senior left fielder Courtney Banzi (Plymouth, Mass.) and sophomore shortstop Samantha Mulcahy (Taunton, Mass.) recorded three hits apiece as Bridgewater State hung on for the 7-6 victory in game two.
The Lyons pushed across a run on a two-out RBI single by Nardozza in the top of the first.
Grindle plated sophomore shortstop Samantha Mulcahy (Taunton, Mass.) with an RBI ground out in the home half of the first and junior third baseman Courtney Gouveia (Taunton, Mass.) added an RBI single to put the Bears on top, 2-1.
Wheaton tied it up at 2-2 with an unearned run in the top of the second on Arkin's RBI single.
Grindle belted her team-leading sixth home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth to break the deadlock. Gouveia followed with a base hit, stole second, advanced to third on a fly out and scored on Ruprecht's RBI single to make it a 4-2 game. After a ground out, junior catcher Tabitha Domeij (Westborough, Mass.) rifled an RBI base hit to center to plate Ruprecht with the Bears' third run of the inning.
RBI singles by Assad and freshman DP Lindsay Whittles (Hopkinton, Mass.) in the top of the fifth pulled the Lyons to within a run at 5-4. Assad, however, was cut down at the play on a throw from Ruprecht in right to end the inning.
Bridgewater answered with a pair of runs in the home half of the fifth to make it a three-run game again (7-4). Mulcahy tripled and scored on Banzi's base hit. Freshman Kimberly Kowalick (Groveland, Mass.), who pinch ran for Banzi, would later come around to score when freshman catcher Madison Synan (Quincy, Mass.) reached on an error.
In the top of the seventh, Assad singled with two outs and scored all the way from first on an RBI double by Nardozza. Whittles followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 7-6. However, Schlapak's deep fly ball to center was caught at the fence by BSU junior Kacie Carvalho (Fairhaven, Mass.) to end the game.
Sorrenti (3-1) went the distance in the circle to record the win for the Bears in game two. Sorrenti allowed six runs (five earned) on 12 hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Banzi went 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI, while Mulcahy was 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs to highlight the Bears' 11-hit effort. Gouveia also recorded with multiple hits as she went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Grindle (1-2, BB) finished with a pair of runs batted in.
Wheaton junior pitcher Shelbi Wilson (Peabody, Mass.) was saddled with the loss. Wilson (1-8) was tagged for seven runs on 11 hits in four-plus innings. Assad came on in relief and retired six of the eight batters she faced.
Arkin paced the Lyons 13-hit attack as she went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Nardozza (2-4, R, 2 RBI), Whittles (2-4, 2 RBI) and Ongkiko (2-4, R) also notched multiple hits of the visitors.
In upcoming action, the Bears entertain the Rams of Framingham State University in a MASCAC twinbill on Saturday at noon. The Lyons travel to Coast Guard Academy on Friday afternoon for a three o'clock NEWMAC doubleheader with the Bears.