WESTON, Mass. – Clinching its program's first-ever postseason berth, the Southern Vermont College softball team took one-of-two New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) contests Saturday afternoon, losing 3-2 in eight innings before bouncing back for a 4-2 game two victory at Regis Stadium.
SVC is now 9-7 in conference play, 11-17 overall. The Pride finish the regular season at 9-18, 8-10 in the NECC; they now await the results of two pivotal league doubleheaders that will determine whether or not they get into the postseason.
GAME 1: Regis 3, Southern Vt. 2 (8)
The Pride took to a 1-0 advantage with a lone run in the bottom of the second, a lead that would hold until SVC tied it up with one in the fifth. Regis went back ahead with another solo score in the sixth before the Mountaineers tied it in their final scheduled at bat. RC ended it in the bottom of the eighth with a walk-off RBI single by sophomore first baseman Alyssa McKinnon (Raynham, Mass.).
McKinnon was 2-4 for the Pride while freshman Allison Caloggero (Medford, Mass.) and freshman Kelsey Morton (South Portland, Maine) were each 1-3 with an RBI in the win.
Regis sophomore pitcher Katie Cuozzo (Lynn, Mass.) threw all eight innings in the win (7-8), allowing just the two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk; she struck out three on the day. Freshman Lauryn Zovistoski (Granville, N.Y.) suffered the loss (1-5) after giving up the winning run in her second inning of relief.
Morton started the scoring for Regis in the second with a single to the shortstop that scored Cuozzo. Buchan tagged her run-scoring fly-out to left in the fifth to even things at 1-1, but a Caloggero base knock in the bottom of the sixth put Regis back ahead at 2-1.
With the Mountaineers' backs to the wall in the top of the seventh, Celeste came through with single to left center that scored junior Shelby Jones (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) for the tying run. In the first extra frame, however, Regis ended it when McKinnon singled to center, plating the game-winning run.
GAME 2: Southern Vt. 4, Regis 2
After a first two scoreless innings in game two, SVC took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third. The Pride came back with one of their own in the bottom of the frame before each team scored once in the fifth. The Mountaineers were able to keep Regis off the board through the final two innings to clinch their spot in the NECC postseason.
Junior pitcher Hayley McDonald (Latham, N.Y.) and classmate Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) both went 2-3 with a run scored, and Zovistoski added a 2-4 showing with a pair of RBIs. Jones went 1-3 with two runs batted in while sophomore captain Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) was 2-4 with a run scored. Senior captain Erika Garay (Walnut, Calif.) chipped in with her second hit and second run scored of the day.
McDonald took the win from the circle to improve to 6-6 on the season while Fleming grabbed her second save, closing out the final two innings by retiring six of the seven batters she faced; the lone Pride to reach base did so on a hit by pitch. McDonald allowed just one earned run on five hits and a walk.
Regis junior Sam Bliss (Framingham, Mass.) was 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI, and sophomore Kirbie Garvey (Littleton, Mass.) went 2-3 at the plate for the Pride. Bliss suffered the loss (1-7), giving up the three runs on just five hits.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the third, Zovistoski singled to right center to bring in the first Mountaineer run. Jones subsequently hit a two-run single in the same direction for the 3-0 lead.
An SVC miscue helped Regis tally its run in the bottom of the third to get the Pride scoring started. The Mountaineers pulled the lead back to three in the fifth with Zovistoski's second run-scoring single, but RC answered in the bottom of the inning when Bliss ripped an RBI double down the line in left. Southern Vt. couldn't pad its lead through the final two innings, but Fleming's effectiveness in the circle preserved the lead and gave the Mountaineers their first trip to the playoffs.
Southern Vt. wraps up the regular season Sunday with a home doubleheader against Becker College; a 1 p.m. first pitch will follow the SVC Senior Day ceremony at Willow Park.