Softball Begins NECC Schedule with 10-1, 10-2 Five-inning Losses at Bay Path

sarah billow runs down the line to first

LONGMEADOW, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College softball team began the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) schedule Sunday afternoon at Bay Path University—falling 10-1 and then 10-2 in a pair of shortened, five-inning contests at Varsity Field.

With its own diamond in a muddy and unplayable state, SVC turned its home-opening doubleheader against BPU into an away series with the Mountaineers still batting in the bottom of the inning.

Southern Vermont (0-4, 0-2 NECC) turns right around for a Monday non-league twin bill at Skidmore College—first pitch being slated for 3:30 p.m.

GAME 1: Bay Path 10 – Southern Vermont 1 (5 innings)
The Wildcats jumped on the board early with a lone run in the first, and they added four more in the second for a comfortable cushion. BPU notched a single run in both the third and fourth innings before SVC got one back. A three-run top of the fifth gave Bay Path the necessary lead for the game to get called after the Mountaineers couldn't chip away with their trip to the plate.

Southern Vermont sophomore shortstop Lizzy Bench (St. Petersburg, Fla.) broke up the Wildcat pitcher's bid for a perfect game in the fourth while also doing away with the attempt at the shutout as she launched a solo home run over the fence in left—that being her third career dinger.

Mountaineer junior Shea Wilson (Mesa, Ariz.) took the loss (0-3) from the circle while striking out three BPU batters.

A run-scoring triple in the top of the first put Bay Path in front before SVC went down in order in the home half of the inning. The Wildcats scored four runs on four hits in the second and registered 1-2-3 innings through its next two trips into the field.

Down 7-1 after BPU tacked up one in the top of the fourth, Bench led off the bottom of the box with a towering shot to left-center for her first homer of the year. It would not be enough to get her team into the sixth inning, however, as the Wildcats pushed it up to a nine-run difference in the fifth before retiring the SVC side in order once again to win the opener.

GAME 2: Bay Path 10 – Southern Vermont 2 (5 innings)
Southern Vermont took the upper hand in game two with a single run in the first—only to see the Wildcats answer to tie it with one of their own in the next frame. The 1-1 tally stood until the fourth when BPU gained a slim edge with a solo run, and Bay Path then opened it up with a crooked eight-spot in the fifth. SVC could only get one run across the plate in the bottom of the inning for the run-rule to be invoked and wrap up the day.

Bench went 1-2 out of the leadoff spot once again while adding a walk, two runs and a stolen base. Freshman left fielder Sarah Billow (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) was 2-3 with an RBI in the effort.

Wilson returned to the rubber for the Mountaineers and struck out four in the loss (0-4). She also tallied an RBI on the offensive side to support herself.

After Bay Path stranded a runner in the top of the first, Bench worked her walk to start the bottom of the box. A sacrifice bunt moved her up 60 feet, and she swiped third on an ensuing walk. Billow then connected and sent one back up the middle for Bench to trot home and give her team the early upper hand.

BPU came right back to even the score in the second, and neither side was able to get a runner past first through the end of the third. Bay Path went in front in the fourth as a leadoff single came around to touch the dish and give the Wildcats the 2-1 edge. The following inning saw the hosts chalk up eight runs on six hits including a triple and two doubles.

Bench began the bottom of the fifth with a single to short, and she moved up to second on a failed pickoff attempt by the Wildcats. Wilson poked it out to right during the next at-bat, and Bench hit third before getting in under the tag at home for the score. SVC could not cut into its deficit anymore, however, as BPU got the final two outs for the sweep.