Bench Cycle Helps Softball Sweep NECC Pair at Daniel Webster with 27-7, 14-1 Five-inning Wins

Bench Cycle Helps Softball Sweep NECC Pair at Daniel Webster with 27-7, 14-1 Five-inning Wins

NASHUA, N.H. — Carrying its momentum from a thrilling walk-off win on Saturday, the Southern Vermont College softball team went to Daniel Webster College Sunday afternoon and swept a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader at Eagle Field by scores of 27-7 and 14-1, both games ending after five innings.

Mountaineer freshman shortstop Lizzy Bench (Saint Petersburg, Fla.) had a career day at the plate, going 8-for-8 with 11 RBIs and seven runs scored. She had a double, three triples and a home run while completing the cycle in game two.

SVC took a 10-6 advantage after the second inning in the opener before adding five unanswered runs through the next two frames. The Mountaineers then threw up a crooked 12-spot in the fifth for a firm upper hand that would be carried to the early finish.

Southern Vermont then had a slim 2-1 lead following the second inning of the day-cap before chalking up seven runs in the third to pull away. The visitors added another five in the fifth to take a comfortable advantage they would maintain through the Eagles' final turn at bat.

The Mountaineers (3-11, 3-3 NECC) are back in action on Tuesday, visiting Regis College for a league twin bill set to start at 3 p.m.

Sunday's pair of wins gives SVC a 12-10 edge in the all-time series between the two sides.

GAME 1: Southern Vermont 27 – Daniel Webster 7 (5 inn.)
The Mountaineers were patient at the plate in the opener, working a total of 25 walks in game one for the most bases on balls by a team in DIII this year. That also ties the fourth-highest mark in NCAA DIII history which was set by Daniel Webster in 2004 against Albertus Magnus College; the record for the most walks in a single game is 30 by the Binghamton University squad in 1987.

Bench went 4-for-4 with two walks, four runs scored and eight RBIs while sophomore catcher Nicole Matthews (Pittstown, N.Y.) had a 3-for-3 showing with three walks, three runs scored and four runs batted in. Bench and Matthews each had two triples as Matthews added a double to her opener.

Senior second baseman Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) was 2-for-2 at the plate with four walks, both of her hits being doubles, while she crossed the plate five times and batted in another four runs. Freshman right fielder Carissa Bottisti (Amsterdam, N.Y.) turned in a 1-for-3 showing in the batter's box, working two walks and registering three RBIs in the first victory.

Bennington College sophomore Caroline Adams (Lakeville, Mass.) picked up her first collegiate win (1-3) from the circle for SVC, going all five innings while letting up just three earned runs.

Bench knocked in the first run of the day to get the scoring started before junior center fielder Amber Dow (Vergennes, Vt.) singled to left for the third run to cross. Freshman Christina Moore (Wilmington, Vt.) added an RBI single back at the pitcher to put her team on top 4-0. That lead would not last for long, however, as DWC came right back with two of its own in the bottom of the box.

The runs continued to come in during the second as Southern Vermont put up six more to open its separation. With a pair of ducks on the pond and no outs, Bench wrapped a triple to center for SVC to go up 6-2. Matthews followed with a three-bagger of her own and then subsequently scored on a wild pitch. SVC loaded the bases for Bottisti, still with no outs, and her single to center allowed two runs to cross the dish. The Mountaineers' aggressiveness on the base paths then came back to hurt, however, as the visitors hit into an inning-ending triple play for Daniel Webster to get back into the dugout.

The Eagles then put up four runs in the bottom of the second to get it to a 10-6 Southern Vermont lead. SVC would tack on one more in the third, a Matthews double to left scoring Robtoy before Adams sat down the Daniel Webster side in order in the bottom of the frame.

The Mountaineers extended their upper hand in the fourth with four runs on four hits, a Robtoy double to center scoring the first two of the inning before Bench followed with a run-scoring single to left. Matthews then kept the hits coming as she punched her second triple of the day to the gap in left-center, scoring Bench to make it a 14-6 ballgame.

Adams recorded her second straight 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fourth, making way for SVC to blow the contest wide open in the fifth. Southern Vermont came one hitter shy of batting around the order twice in the frame, putting up 12 runs to pull away. Freshman Molly Madore (Higganum, Conn.) singled to right for the first two runs to score, and a Bench triple to right-center then cleared the bases. Daniel Webster got one run in the home half of the box, but it would be far short of allowing the game to continue.

GAME 2: Southern Vermont 14 – Daniel Webster 1 (5 inn.)
Bench continued her spectacular day, recording her cycle on a 4-for-4 showing at the plate; she added another three runs scored and three RBIs in game two. Matthews and Moore each went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in and two runs scored during the day-cap. Madore tallied another two RBIs as sophomore Chloe Longe (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in and two more runs scored.

Matthews went to the circle for SVC, picking up her second win in as many days (2-3) while allowing just one run on three hits and two walks. She struck out six DWC batters on the afternoon.

Southern Vermont crossed the plate once in the top of the first after Bench got on with a single, getting knocked in by Matthews' second double of the day. DWC came right back with an answer to tie it, scoring once in the bottom of the frame.

Dow worked a lead-off walk to start the second, and she would then come all the way around to score on an ensuing double to center off of Moore's bat. Matthews returned to the rubber and sat down the Eagles in order to get the Mountaineers off the diamond.

Bench started the third with a triple to left, and Matthews then sent her third triple of the day into left-center to score her teammate. A Longe single to left plated Matthews, and Madore soon-after tallied a two-run single for SVC to go up 6-1. A double steal added another for Southern Vermont before Bench sent a double to right-center to score two more.

Matthews allowed just a lone walk in the bottom of the third before the Mountaineers stranded a runner on base in the top of the fourth. DWC would get a pair onboard in the home half of the inning but would be unable to get them home as Matthews tacked up two straight K's to get out of it.

SVC then put the game out of Daniel Webster's reach with five runs in the top of the fifth, all the visitors' action coming with two outs. Bench stepped up to the plate with the bases empty and completed her cycle, sending her first collegiate home run over the fence in center. Longe doubled down the line in left to bring Matthews home, and a Moore single two batters later brought Dow in to touch the dish. A bases loaded walk would provide the final score of the day as Matthews got the Eagles to strand a runner on second in the bottom of the frame to end it.