Softball Clipped 7-3, 5-4 in NECC Pair at Mitchell

brooke gates swings at the ball

NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Southern Vermont College softball team narrowly lost a pair of New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) games at Mitchell College's Alumni Field Sunday afternoon—falling 7-3 and then 5-4 as the Mariners took the sweep.

SVC (4-18, 4-12 NECC) is back in action on Tuesday when the Mountaineers host Elms College for a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Willow Park.

GAME 1: Mitchell 7 – Southern Vermont 3
The Mariners got a quick two runs in the bottom of the first before adding a solo score in the second. Southern Vermont got on the board with a single run in the third—only to see Mitchell respond with three in the fourth to go on top 6-1. SVC answered right away with a pair in the fifth, but MC continued to score with another solo tally in the home half of the frame. That 7-3 margin stood through the final inning and a half as the hosts took the opener.

Mountaineer junior catcher Nicole Matthews (Pittstown, N.Y.) was 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the effort as freshman first baseman Carly Gillman (Stamford, Conn.) went 3-3 at the dish with a run scored on the base paths. Sophomore right fielder Carissa Bottisti (Amsterdam, N.Y.) had a 2-3 performance with the stick in game one.

SVC junior righty Shea Wilson (Mesa, Ariz.) struck out five Mariner batters while taking the loss (3-11) from the circle.

After Southern Vermont went down in order in the top of the first, Mitchell tacked up two runs with two down for the early lead. The Mariners added another run in the second before SVC got on the board in the top of the third. Gillman started the frame with a single to left, and she would end up at third with a Wilson hit to right. Matthews then came through with the RBI-single slapped the opposite way to make it a 4-1 ballgame.

That score remained until the bottom of the fourth when MC crossed three more times with the help of three doubles. The Mountaineers got another two on the board in the fifth after Matthews registered a one-out single to left-center. With runners at second and third, sophomore shortstop Lizzy Bench (St. Petersburg, Fla.) sent a fly ball deep enough to left for the sacrifice to score Matthews. Freshman left fielder Sarah Billow (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) then followed with an RBI-base hit to center for the third SVC run to touch the plate.

Mitchell pushed it back to a four-run difference in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out double to left. Gillman would get stranded at second in the sixth before Southern Vermont went down in order in the seventh for the Mariners to close out their first win of the day.

GAME 2: Mitchell 5 – Southern Vermont 4
SVC gained a slim edge in game two with a lone run in the third. Mitchell would tie it in the fourth—only to see the Mountaineers go back on top with two runs in the fifth. The Mariners pulled ahead with three runs in the bottom of the box, and the 4-3 lead lasted into the seventh. Southern Vermont was able to cross the dish and tie it up, but MC did the same in the bottom of the inning to walk-off with the sweep.

Wilson went 2-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored out of the leadoff spot while Matthews was 1-4 with a pair of runs batted in. Bench turned in a 1-2 showing with a walk, and freshmen Brooke Gates (Pittsfield, Mass.) and Taylor Jarosz (Troy, N.Y.) were both 1-3 with a run scored.

Wilson was strapped with her second loss (3-12) of the day while allowing just four earned runs and striking out four.

Mitchell put runners at second and third with no outs in the bottom of the first, but SVC got out of it with a play at the plate and an ensuing inning-ending double play. Southern Vermont would strike in the third as the Mountaineers got on the board with two down. Gates started the box with a single up the middle, and she would later score as Wilson tagged the RBI-double to center for the 1-0 edge.

SVC got the Mariners to strand a runner at third in the third, but MC then ended the shutout bid in the fourth. Southern Vermont answered right away in the fifth after Wilson connected for a two-out single to center to put a pair of Mountaineers aboard; Matthews followed with a double blasted to left for both runners to come around and score.

Mitchell got runners to the corners with two outs in the home half of the fifth, and back-to-back singles plated three to make it a 4-3 contest. Bench and Billow ripped consecutive doubles in the sixth to no avail before the Mariners squandered a leadoff double opportunity in the bottom of the box. Jarosz doubled through the left side in the top of the seventh, and she and Wilson then pulled off a double steal to get the pair in scoring position. A third strike in the dirt allowed Jarosz to come home from third and tie the game with two down.

The Mariners were able to get the final blow after a double to center started the home half of the seventh. After the runner moved to third on a wild pitch, she did not attempt to score on a fly out to center. The next batter would score the winning run, however, as Mitchell celebrated the walk-off victory.