LEICESTER, Mass. — A pair of shutouts saw the Southern Vermont College and Becker College softball teams split a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader played at Russell Field Thursday afternoon. BC took the opener 7-0 before the Mountaineers came back with a 2-0 victory in game two.
Southern Vermont moves to 6-9 on the year and 4-6 in NECC action while the Hawks now stand at 9-10 overall and 5-3 in league play with the share.
The Mountaineers are back at it on Saturday as they host Lesley University for a Conference twin bill set to start at 1 p.m. at Willow Park.
GAME 1: Becker 7, Southern Vermont 0
The hosts tacked up five runs in the top of the first of game one and added two more in the second for a sizeable lead. Neither squad crossed the plate for the remainder of the contest as the Hawks stayed in front for their fifth league win of the season.
Southern Vermont was held to just three hits with junior second baseman Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.), senior third baseman Brianne Nichols (Albany, N.Y.), and senior pitcher Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) all going 1-3 with the stick. Robtoy's hit went for a double while senior left fielder Michelle Flores (Pico Rivera, Calif.) worked a walk in the effort.
Fleming suffered the loss (3-6) while striking out four Hawks in her six innings in the circle.
After three straight ground outs ended the top of the first for SVC, Becker chalked up five runs for a lead it would not relinquish. A lead-off bunt single was followed by another base hit before a double scored the Hawks' first run. A fielder's choice by Fleming brought home the second BC score, and an ensuing single to left made it a 3-0 ballgame. A two-run homer ensued for Becker as the hosts took the 5-0 advantage to the second.
SVC once again went down in order before a lead-off single in the second gave way for a run-scoring double to left for the sixth Becker run of the day. Another base knock to center made it 7-0, and BC would carry that tally to the win as neither side had much offensive success through the remainder of the game.
GAME 2: Southern Vermont 2, Becker 0
All the scoring in the second contest once again came early on as the Mountaineers put up both runs of the game in the top of the first. Each team totaled four hits and an error while SVC was able to keep Becker from crossing the dish.
Robtoy went 1-3 with a run scored while Nichols and senior catcher Shelby Jones (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) each notched an RBI. Fleming was 2-3 at the plate, and senior center fielder Erika Garay (Walnut, Calif.) scored the other Southern Vermont run in the victory.
SVC senior righty Hayley McDonald (Latham, N.Y.) took the win from the circle (2-3), giving up just four hits in six innings of work; she struck out six Hawks while not giving up a single walk. Fleming tossed the seventh for her second save of the season.
Garay got aboard to start the game with help from a Becker fielding miscue before she moved to third on a Robtoy single out to right. Nichols then grounded out to second for the senior captain to come in and score the first run of the game. Jones knocked in Robtoy from third on a fielder's choice, making it 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
Becker got a runner to third in the bottom of the first, but McDonald induced an inning-ending ground out back her way to get out of it. Both teams went down in order during the second before SVC went 1-2-3 in the top half of the third. A lead-off triple looked to get the Hawks' scoring started in the bottom of the frame, but McDonald got three straight pop ups to the infield to work out of the jam.
Each side got one runner on base in the fourth, but neither was able to work itself around the diamond. After the Mountaineer side was retired in order in the top of the fifth, Becker used a pair of two-out hits to get something going. Once again, however, McDonald got herself out of it as she got another pop out to end the inning. Neither side got a runner on in the sixth before SVC senior shortstop Kirstin Buchan (Troy, N.Y.) was stranded at second after tagging a double in the seventh. A Mountaineer error allowed the Hawk's lead-off batter to reach in the home half of the frame, but Fleming then recorded three straight outs to wrap up the win and secure the split.