CHICOPEE, Mass. – Southern Vermont College dropped a pair of New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) softball games at Elms College Tuesday afternoon, losing 12-1 in five innings before being edged 4-3 in game two.
The Blazers improve their season record to 11-13, 9-7 in conference play. SVC falls to 8-16 on the year and 6-6 against the NECC.
GAME 1: Elms 12, Southern Vt. 1
After sophomore Kierstan Skinner (South Windsor, Conn.) notched a two-run, in-the-park home run to give Elms a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Blazers plated five in the bottom of the second on the strength of RBI singles by Kierstan Skinner, junior pitcher Beth Grimes (Terryville, Conn.) and senior first baseman Ally Witaszek (Feeding Hills, Mass.). A run-scoring groundout by junior shortstop Gina DiGiovanni (Springfield, Mass.) added another, and Grimes then scored on a passed ball to give Elms a 7-0 lead.
SVC freshman Mallory Celeste (Gansevoort, N.Y.) drove sophomore Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) home with the Mountaineers' lone run of the contest in the top of the fourth before the Blazers pushed across five more runs in the bottom of the frame to lift the lead to 12-1.
Elms used four RBI doubles off the bats of Kierstan Skinner, senior third baseman Caitlee Carrier (Charlestown, Mass.), freshman Tessa Cote (Granby, Mass.), and senior right fielder Kellie McLaughlin (Pittsfield, Mass.) to cap the scoring.
Grimes allowed just one run on one hit and struck out eight batters in game one to improve to 5-5 in the circle. Junior Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) suffered the loss for Southern Vt. and moved to 4-6 on the season.
GAME 2: Elms 4, Southern Vt. 3
After three scoreless frames to start game two, Southern Vt. plated three runs in the top of the fourth, the first when junior Shelby Jones (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) reached on an RBI fielder's choice. Junior Brianne Nichols (Watervliet, N.Y.) drove in a run when she reached on an error, and senior Kirstin Buchan (Albany, N.Y.) delivered a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 advantage.
Elms answered in the home half of the fourth when freshman second baseman Meghan Shewchuk (Springfield, Mass.) pounded a single up the middle to drive in sophomore Taylor Skinner (South Windsor, Conn.), and Cote then ripped a two-run double to even the score at 3-3.
In the bottom of the fifth, senior Hayley Zisk (Baldwinville, Mass.) reached on a miscue, allowing Kierstan Skinner to come home with what stood as the game-winning run and set the score at 4-3.
In the top of the sixth, the Mountaineers used a lead-off walk to Celeste and an infield single by Nichols to put two runners on. A sacrifice bunt by junior Hannah Cross (Bennington, Vt.) advanced the runners 60 feet into scoring position before Grimes forced a line-out and a strikeout to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Fleming singled and Robtoy reached on a Blazers' miscue to again give Southern Vt. two runners on base, but Grimes struck out the next two batters and induced a game-ending fly out to end the game at 4-3.
Shewchuk and Cote had two hits each in the winning effort, while Grimes (6-5) fanned nine batters to seal the win.
SVC junior hurler Hayley McDonald (Latham, N.Y.) struck out four hitters in six innings and suffered the loss to move to 4-5. Celeste and Fleming had two hits apiece in the contest.
Southern Vt. travels to Bay Path College next for a Thursday conference doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. while the Blazers hosts Amherst College Wednesday for a 4 p.m. single non-conference contest.