BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Shannon Grindle's (Halifax, Mass.) walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning helped the Bridgewater State University softball team secure a doubleheader split with visiting Framingham State University in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action on Saturday afternoon.
Framingham State won the opener, 10-0 in five innings, while Bridgewater State earned the split with a dramatic 6-3 victory in game two.
The host Bears see their record go to 12-16 on the season and 4-4 in the MASCAC, while the Rams are now 18-13 overall and 7-3 in conference play.
Kelsi Gunarathne (North Providence, R.I.) tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout to lead the Rams to the 10-0 victory in game one. Gunarathne walked two and fanned eight over five innings of work.
Megan Downing (Hanson, Mass.) and Grace Caughey (Mendon, Mass.) notched three hits apiece to highlight's Framingham's 13-hit attack. Downing went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and RBI, while Caughey was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a run and two RBI.
Kayla Finacchiaro (Natick, Mass.) and Kirsten Dick (Tewksbury, Mass.) also finished with multiple hits for the Rams. Finacchiaro went 2-for-3 with a double, a run and two RBI, while Dick was 2-for-3 at the plate.
The Rams scored in every inning but the first.
Kaitlyn Shaw (Lakeville, Mass.) suffered the loss in the circle for the Bears. Shaw allowed eight runs (six earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Grindle belted a majestic three-run blast over the left field fence to win game two in walk-off fashion.
The Bears had jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Samantha Mulcahy (Taunton, Mass.) was hit by a pitch, advanced all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Shannon Grindle's (Halifax, Mass.) suicide squeeze bunt.
Jenny Heller (Taunton, Mass.) started a two-run rally in the fourth with a leadoff single. Heller advanced to third when Alexandra Ruprecht (Kingston, Mass.) reached on a two-base throwing error on a bunt attempt. Rebecca Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.) then lined a pinch hit single to left to score Heller from third. Tabitha Domeij's (Westborough, Mass.) RBI ground out plated Ruprecht to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.
Framingham rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game up at 3-3. Caughey provided the late-game heroics for the Rams as she smacked a two-run single with the bases loaded and two outs to knot the score. Mycala Moody (North Attleboro, Mass.) rapped an RBI single earlier in the frame to start the comeback.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kacie Carvalho (Fairhaven, Mass.) worked a one-out walk and moved to second two batters later when Meghan Navarro (Taunton, Mass.) stroked a base hit into left field. Grindle then drove a 3-2 offering well over fence to win the game for the Bears.
Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, Mass.) earned the win for the Bears in game two. Sorrenti (4-1) worked all nine innings allowing three runs on ten hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts.
Grindle went 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk, a run and four RBI. Heller also finished with multiple hits as she went 2-for-4 with a run.
Gunarathne was tagged with the loss for the Rams in game two. Gunarathne (10-6) gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings of relief. She fanned seven. Caughey got the start in the circle as she allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with a pair of strike outs.
Dayna Marchant (East Bridgewater, Mass.), Moody and Downing each went 2-for-5 to highlight the Framingham offense in game two.