BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College softball team dropped a pair of New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) contests at Willow Park Thursday afternoon as the Mountaineers fell 15-0 in five innings before getting edged 4-1 by the visiting Regis College squad.
The Mountaineers (4-8, 4-4) continue their three-day stretch of league doubleheaders on Friday when they head to Becker College for a 1 p.m. first pitch. Regis (9-7, 7-1 NECC) is off until next Wednesday when the Pride host Newbury College for a Conference twin bill slated to begin at 5 p.m.
GAME 1: Regis 15 – Southern Vermont 0 (5 inn.)
The Pride put up two runs in the top of the first in game one before adding another four in the second and six in the third for a comfortable upper hand. The visitors would keep SVC off the board throughout while tacking on another three in the fifth to invoke the run rule.
SVC sophomore shortstop Lizzy Bench (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was 1-3 out of the leadoff spot as junior left-handed pitcher Nicole Matthews (Pittstown, N.Y.) went 1-2. Both freshman first baseman Carly Gillman (Stamford, Conn.) and junior catcher Julia Florence (Salem, Mass.) also turned in 1-2 showings at the dish.
RC sophomore right fielder Kelsey Grimard (Pellham, N.H.) was 2-4 with a walk, three runs scored and two runs batted in while senior center fielder Kelsey Morton (South Portland, Maine) went 1-2 with two walks, two runs scored and an RBI in the win.
Regis freshman righty Madi McLellan (Fremont, N.H.) picked up the win (6-4) from the circle as she allowed just four hits and no walks while striking out seven. Matthews was strapped with the loss (1-3)—striking out one on the day.
The Pride were patient at the plate through the first two frames—using some walks to put up six runs without a hit or an SVC error. Regis then tacked up six runs in the third with Grimard tagging an RBI single to the gap in right-center for the visitors to take a sizable advantage.
Bench got the first Mountaineer runner aboard in the fourth when she singled to the opposite gap in right, and a one-out base hit by Matthews put a pair on the pond for the hosts. McLellan worked out of it, however, to keep the shutout going.
After Regis staked a 15-0 lead in the top of the fifth, Southern Vermont tried to make the most of its potentially-last trip to the plate. Gillman started the box with a single to right before Florence ripped one just past the RC second baseman. RC was able to put away the next three batters, however, to secure the league victory.
GAME 2: Regis 4 – Southern Vermont 1
The nightcap had a much difference feel as it was a tight contest throughout. Neither side could cross the plate until Southern Vermont did so in the bottom of the fourth with a single run. RC answered right away with two in the fifth, and the Pride added another pair in the sixth to go up by three. The visitors kept the Mountaineers from scoring the rest of the way to take the day's sweep.
Bench went 2-3 with a run scored while Matthews was 1-3 with the lone RBI. Florence added to her day with another 1-2 performance with the stick.
RC sophomore shortstop Brianna Napoleone (Medford, Mass.) was 3-4 in game two with a run batted in while junior designated player Amanda Navarro (Stoneham, Mass.) had a 2-4 game with a double and an RBI.
Regis sophomore righty Lisa Lusardi (Enfield, Conn.) struck out one batter from the circle while taking the win (2-2) as McLellan came on in the sixth to close it out and secure her first collegiate save. Southern Vermont junior righty Shea Wilson (Mesa, Ariz.) suffered the loss (3-5) after striking out two in the effort.
Regis left two on base in the top of the first before getting an inning-ending double play to put away the Mountaineers in the home half of the frame. Both sides went down in order in the second, and SVC was able to get the visitors to strand another pair aboard in the third and one more in the fourth.
That's when Southern Vermont struck to take its first lead of the day. Bench began the bottom of the fourth with a single to center, and she used heads-up base running to move all the way to third on an ensuing sacrifice bunt. A pop out to second followed, but Matthews was able to then come through with the RBI double down the line in left for the 1-0 advantage.
It didn't take long for Regis to erase that deficit and claim the upper hand as RC put up two in the top of the fifth. Morton singled to the left side to begin the inning, and she would advance 180 feet on a Grimard single to right. Navarro tallied a run-scoring double to left-center, and a wild pitch then allowed Grimard to score from third.
Florence was stranded at second in the bottom of the fifth before RC tacked up another pair in the sixth. A triple down the right field line by freshman second baseman Gabrielle Cammarata (Revere, Mass.) scored the first run of the inning, and Napoleone added a two-out single through the right side for the 4-1 lead.
SVC went down in order in the sixth before a sacrifice bunt put Pride runners at second and third in the seventh; Wilson induced an inning-ending grounder back her way, however, to give her team one final chance at the plate. Two Mountaineers got on base in the home half of the seventh, but neither could come home to cross the dish as Regis closed out the sweep.
– #LetsGoSVC –