LONGMEADOW, Mass. – Southern Vermont College picked up two pivotal New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) softball wins Thursday afternoon, defeating Bay Path College 4-3 and then 9-8 in extra innings at Varsity field.
The Mountaineers improve to 8-6 in league play and 10-16 overall on the season, marking the most wins for the program in regular season and NECC play. BPC falls to 8-8 in conference action, 9-15 on the year. SVC now sits at fifth place in the league standings with two doubleheaders to go.
GAME 1: Southern Vt. 4, Bay Path 3
Southern Vt. wasted no time in getting onto the scoreboard, crossing the plate twice in the top of the first. Bay Path answered with one of its own to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the latter half of the inning. That score stood until the top of the fourth when SVC tacked on two more for a 4-1 advantage. The Wildcats again cut it to a one-run Mountaineer lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, but they couldn't come up with the equalizer as Southern Vt. took game one.
SVC sophomore captain Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) had a strong game at the plate, going 3-4 with a double and an RBI. Freshman Mallory Celeste (Gansevoort, N.Y.) was 2-4 with a run batted in, and freshman Lauryn Zovistoski (Granville, N.Y.) went 1-3 with a walk and a run scored.
Junior hurler Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) picked up the win to move to 5-6 on the season from the circle, giving up three runs (two earned) while striking out four. Zovistoski closed out the victory for her second save of the year, allowing just one hit and two walks in two innings of work.
Bay Path senior Emily Serrano (Savoy, Mass.) was 2-4 with two RBIs in the loss while junior Katherine Chabot (Brookfield, Mass.) went 2-4 with two stolen bases and a run scored. Senior pitcher Keelin Dougherty (Northfield, N.H.) was strapped with the loss (8-11) after giving up the four runs (two earned); she struck out three on the day.
GAME 2: Southern Vt. 9, Bay Path 8 (9)
The Mountaineers took a sizable lead in game two after putting up two runs in the second inning and another three in the third. The Wildcats battled back to close within one thanks to a four-run fourth and subsequently tied the affair with a lone run in the fifth. SVC scored twice in the top of the sixth, only to see Bay Path respond with a pair of its own in the bottom half of the frame. A scoreless seventh sent the game to extra innings where the Mountaineers grabbed some momentum with a run scored in the eighth. Once again, however, BPC had an answer and tied it with a single run in the bottom of the box. SVC came back in the ninth with a run to take another lead, one that would not be relinquished as Fleming came in and picked up her first collegiate save.
Fleming was 2-4 at the plate with a home run, three RBIs, and two runs scored while Robtoy added another three runs batted in and a lone run scored. Starting pitcher Hayley McDonald, who took a no-decision, went 1-2 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored in the victory.
Zovistoski collected her first collegiate win (1-4) as she was still in the game when the Mountaineers took their ninth-inning lead. McDonald struck out five in four innings of work while Zovistoski and Fleming tallied two K's apiece.
Bay Path senior Mercedes Griffith (Malden, Mass.) was 2-4 with a home run, two RBIs and a run scored for the hosts while Chabot went 2-5 with a run scored and another knocked in. Serrano registered a 1-4 plate appearance with a walk, two stolen bases and two runs scored. Dougherty once again took the loss from the circle (8-12), pitching all nine innings for the Wildcats.
McDonald and Robtoy each tagged a run-scoring single in the top of the second to give SVC the early lead. Fleming added a three-run homer in the third, her fifth of the season, to go up 5-0.
A Southern Vt. passed ball allowed Bay Path to score its first run before Griffith hit her two-run round-tripper. An RBI single by Chabot capped the scoring for BPC in the bottom of the fourth. Serrano then scored in the fifth on a single through the left side to even things at 5-5.
The Mountaineers took back the lead in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs with help from Wildcat mishaps. Celeste came to the plate with the bases loaded and shot one through the left side, plating Robtoy and making it a 7-5 SVC advantage.
That lead would not last long, however, as Bay Path put up two of its own in the bottom of the inning. Chabot scored on a passed ball, and the Wildcats added their second run on a ground-out to short.
In the top of the eighth, Fleming stood at third as Robtoy came to the plate. The sophomore grounded over to first, allowing the run to score while taking the out. Once again, Bay Path responded with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the inning to keep its hopes alive.
Southern Vt. got runners to second and third in the top of the ninth before junior Brianne Nichols (Watervliet, N.Y.) hit a run-scoring ground-out with what proved to be the game-winning score. Fleming then went to the circle and worked a ground-out and two strikeouts to finish off the victory.
Both teams look ahead to Saturday conference twin-bills starting at 1 p.m., the Mountaineers visiting Regis College and Bay Path hosting Becker College.