CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The Southern Vermont College softball team concluded its 2015 season Sunday afternoon, winning 9-0 in five innings and then 13-4 over Wheelock College to sweep a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader played at Pine Manor College.
The Mountaineers finish at 11-14 overall and 7-11 against the league.
GAME 1: Southern Vermont 9, Wheelock 0 (5 inn.)
SVC scored in its first three trips to the plate in the opener, putting up two runs in both the first and second innings before a three-run fifth opened up the game for the Mountaineers. Southern Vermont senior righty Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) allowed just two hits while keeping the Wildcats from crossing the dish, striking out six and walking none for the complete-game shutout victory (5-9).
Mountaineer senior center fielder Erika Garay (Walnut, Calif.) went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored out of the lead-off spot while junior second baseman Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) was 3-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Senior third baseman Brianne Nichols (Albany, N.Y.) had a 2-4 showing at the plate with a pair of runs batted in, and Fleming helped her cause with a 2-3 performance with the stick, scoring a run and batting in another.
Robtoy got the scoring started with an RBI-single to left before a fielding miscue by Wheelock brought home the second Mountaineer run. Fleming retired the first six batters she faced while SVC tacked up two more runs in the second, Robtoy knocking in Garay for the second time to make it a 4-0 SVC advantage.
Fleming led-off the third with a solo shot to left center, her fourth dinger of the season accounting for the first of five Southern Vermont runs in the frame. Garay tallied a run-scoring single to center before a WC error brought home the third Mountaineer run of the inning. Nichols tagged a two-out double to the gap in right center, scoring a pair for SVC to go up 9-0.
Wheelock was able to get a two hits in the bottom of the third, but Fleming got out of it unscathed to preserve the shutout. Neither team scored the rest of the way as the Mountaineers maintained their separation to end the contest early.
GAME 2: Southern Vermont 13, Wheelock 4
SVC scored twice in the top of the first before Wheelock answered with three in the home half to take the edge. The Mountaineers tacked up another pair on the fourth and five in the fifth for a 9-3 lead and then scored two more in both the sixth and seventh innings to finish off the sweep.
Robtoy went 2-5 with a walk, three runs scored and two RBIs in the day-cap while Nichols registered a 2-3 showing, working two walks to go with her two runs scored and one run batted in.
Senior right-handed hurler Hayley McDonald (Latham, N.Y.) grabbed her fifth win from the circle (5-5), giving up just two earned runs while striking out five Wildcats on the day.
A Wheelock error in the top of the first saw two Mountaineers score for the early lead, but the hosts responded with their bats by tacking up three runs to go in front for the first time all day. The 3-2 WC edge stood through two scoreless innings before SVC notched two runs in the top of the fourth to regain the upper hand. SVC was able to load the bases with two outs, and another fielding mishap by the Wildcat defense brought in two Southern Vermont runs.
Two hit batters and a WC error reloaded the bases for the Mountaineers in the top of the fifth, and three straight walks allowed SVC to pad its upper hand. After a Wheelock pitching change, Mountaineer senior Shelby Jones (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) singled to right center for Garay to score, and senior Kirstin Buchan (Troy, N.Y.) knocked a sacrifice fly to center for Robtoy to come in with Southern Vermont's ninth run of the contest.
An RBI double in the home half of the fifth provided another run for WC, but the Mountaineers pushed two more across in the following box to increase their separation. SVC added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh before McDonald retired the Wildcat side in order to finish her career on a high note.