BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – #2 Framingham State University forced the if necessary championship game as the Rams posted a 7-5 victory over top-seeded Bridgewater State University in the championship round of the 2019 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Softball Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Park.
The Rams improve to 23-19 on the season, while the host Bears fall to 20-20. The two teams will meet with the conference championship on the line this afternoon at four.
A two-run double off the bat of senior Lauren Salisbury (Cranston, R.I.) in the top of the first inning staked the Rams to the early 2-0 lead. Framingham added a run in the third on freshman Laela Pepin's (Acushnet, Mass.) two-out, RBI single to extend the advantage to 3-0.
A BSU fielding error with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fourth handed the Rams another run and made it a 4-0 game.
The Bears got their bats going in the home half of the fourth as they plated three runs on an RBI single by junior Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.) and a two-run triple off the bat of classmate Meghan Navarro (Taunton, Mass.) to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Bridgewater pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the sixth on clutch RBI single by junior Alexandra Ruprecht (Kingston, Mass.).
Framingham banged out six hits in the top of the seventh, all singles, and scored three runs on three consecutive RBI base knocks from Pepin, junior Kaylea Sherman (North Attleboro, Mass.) and Victoria Ziner (Easton, Mass.).
Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision. Sophomore Grace Caughey (Mendon, Mass.) allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings of work for the Rams, while freshman Kelley Reichert (Milford, Mass.) gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and two walks over four innings.
Senior Kelsi Gunarathne (North Providence, R.I.) picked up the win in relief for Framingham. Gunarathne (13-12) allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Junior Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, Mass.) gave up three runs on eight hits three in the setback for the Bears. Sorrenti (9-8) did not issue a walk and recorded the only strikeout of the game.
Junior Mycala Moody (North Attleboro, Mass.) went 4-for-4 with two runs scored to pace the Rams' 15-hit attack. Caughey (2-for-4, R), Salisbury (2-for-4, R, 2RBI) and Pepin (2-for-4, 2RBI) also recorded two hits for the visitors.
Grindle reached safely in all three plate appearances for the Bears as she singled home a run and walked twice.