Weston, MA – The Southern Vermont Mountaineers won their first New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) game of the season with an 8-6 win over the Regis Pride on Wednesday evening at Regis Stadium. The win came in the first game of a double header before game two saw the Pride rally for a 9-7 victory.
Southern Vermont seniors Alyssa Davis and Tasha Smith led the way for the Mountaineers in game one. Davis went 4-5 with a double and two RBI's and Smith had two hits and three RBI's. Haley McDonald picked up the win on the mound while pitching all eight innings and striking out five.
The Pride were three outs away from the victory when the Mountaineers used five hits to overcome a three run deficit in the top of the seventh. Haley Morgan started the inning by reaching on an error. After Cindyline Sevilla grounded out, Hannah Cross collected her second hit of the day with a single down the left field line which scored Morgan. Davis followed with a double down the left field line, before Jessica Eldridge and Shelby Jones singled. Tasha smith capped the rally with a double to right field which scored Jones and Davis for a 5-4 SVC advantage.
The Mountaineers took its lead into the bottom of the seventh, but the Pride used two hits to tie the game at five and send it into extra innings. In the top of the eighth the Mountaineers used four hits to score three runs and take an 8-5 lead. Davis again came through with the big hit, as she drove in two runs with a single that scored Sevilla and Morgan.
The Pride attempted to mount another comeback in the bottom half of the inning and had the tying run on first base with only one out. McDonald, however, was able to pitch out of the jam and the Mountaineers held on for an 8-6 win.
In game two, the Mountaineers got off to a hot start scoring seven runs in the second inning. However, the seven spot proved to be the only runs for the Mountaineers the rest of the game. The Pride used three runs in the third inning and six in the fourth to take a 9-7 lead that they never gave up. McDonald got the loss for the Mountaineers as she pitched her second complete game of the day. Emily Pickett earned the win for the Pride while pitching five shutout innings in relief.
Southern Vermont is now 4-26 on the season and 1-11 in the NECC. The four wins are the most wins for the softball program since 2005.
While the win is a big step for the program, second year coach Leanne Baker is far from satisfied. "We will always want more," Baker said after the game. "This is a good step, but when we play this way all the time we can be a scary team."
The Mountaineers are in action next on April 21st at NECC leading Lesley. The Pride, who are now 6-15 and 6-6 in the NECC are in action tomorrow when they host Gordon College.