BENNINGTON, Vt. – A New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) softball doubleheader split was the story Sunday when Southern Vermont College hosted Bay Path College at Willow Park. The Wildcats took the front end 10-4 before the Mountaineers won the second game 6-4.
Southern Vermont moves to 2-4 in conference play, 3-12 overall this season, and Bay Path is now 3-5 in NECC action, 10-16 overall.
Game 1 – Bay Path 10, SVC 4
Southern Vermont came out to score in the opening frame when junior centerfielder Erika Garay (Walnut, Calif.) scored on a Wildcat error to take a quick 1-0 advantage. Bay Path would respond in the following inning with small ball and an SVC error of its own. Bay Path opened up for a five-run top of the third, first with a fielder's choice with the bases loaded and then an RBI single by freshman Anna Meyer (Millbrook, N.Y.). The inning was capped by a three-run jack by freshman Kayla Riel (Palmer, Mass.) to put BPC up 6-1.
That would prove to be enough for Wildcat starting right-hander Keelin Dougherty (Northfield, N.H.) who allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out three to pick up her seventh win of the season (7-9). SVC sophomore starter Emily Fleming (Gansevoort, N.Y.) took the loss (1-7).
Game 2 –SVC 6, Bay Path 4
Bay Path came out in the second game to grab an early lead with an RBI triple by sophomore Nicole Odgen (Springfield, Mass.) to plate Dougherty in the top of the first. The Wildcats added three more in the second with help from a two-run round-tripper by sophomore Marina Rhodes (Providence, R.I.).
Southern Vermont started to battle back with three of its own when sophomore Brianne Nichols (Colonie, N.Y.) singled to bring in freshman shortstop Julianne Burnley (Scotia, N.Y.) as the first Mountaineer run. Nichols then scored later on a passed ball for the third score of the inning, making it a 4-3 ball game.
The Mountaineers then took the lead in the following inning with a two-run double by Nichols who would come around to score on the next at-bat; a two base error brought around the SVC third baseman to make it 6-4 in favor of the hosts.
Both teams were hard-pressed to produce much after that as Mountaineer starting pitcher Hayley McDonald (Latham, N.Y.) shut out the Wildcats the rest of the way to hold on for the 6-4 victory.
McDonald picks up the win (2-5) after allowing three earned runs on four hits and two walks; she struck out seven in the effort. Dougherty is credited with the loss (7-10) in her second outing of the day.
Nichols finished 2-3 with two runs and three RBIs for the Mountaineers while Burnley went 1-3 with two runs scored; they each also added a stolen base.
Dougherty went 1-2 with a walk, two runs scored and three stolen bases on the offensive end, and Rhodes was 1-3 with two runs batted in and a run scored.
The Mountaineers turn to non-conference action with a Wednesday doubleheader at Mass. College of Liberal Arts (3:30/5:30 p.m.) while Bay Path hosts Johnson State College Thursday for a 3 and 5 p.m. twin-bill.