BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College softball team wrapped up its 2017 regular season at Willow Park Wednesday afternoon—falling 11-2 in six innings and then 14-0 in five to Elms College in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action.
The Mountaineers (4-20, 4-14) need to now wait for the rest of the league to finish out its schedule to see if they will earn a spot in next week's postseason tournament; the NECC will announce the eight-team playoff bracket Sunday evening.
SVC currently sits at eighth in the Conference standings with a three-game lead over both Daniel Webster College and Wheelock College—a pair of squads that Southern Vermont owns the tiebreaker over and which are 1-11 right now in league play.
Elms (12-13, 9-3 NECC) continues a busy stretch of four doubleheaders in five days on Thursday as the Blazers head to Regis College for a pair slated to start at 5 p.m.
GAME 1: Elms 11 – Southern Vermont 2 (6 inn.)
Elms seized a comfortable upper hand in the top of the second in the opener as the visitors tacked up a crooked-seven for all they would need for the win. SVC got two back in the third, but EC notched a pair in both the fourth and sixth to push it past the eight-run separation needed to trim off the final frame.
Southern Vermont sophomore shortstop Lizzy Bench (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was 1-2 with a walk and two RBI's while junior right-hander Shea Wilson (Mesa, Ariz.) and junior catcher Nicole Matthews (Pittstown, N.Y.) were both 1-3 with a run scored. Junior designated player Julia Florence (Salem, Mass.) and sophomore right fielder Carissa Bottisti (Amsterdam, N.Y.) each had a 1-3 showing at the dish.
Elms freshman first baseman Katelyn Sylvia (Southwick, Mass.) was 2-4 with three runs scored and another run batted in as sophomore center fielder Kayla Doherty (Plaistow, N.H.) went 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Junior third baseman Elizabeth Olszewski (Griswold, Conn.) tagged a two-run homer while scoring twice in the win.
EC senior righty Tessa Cote (Granby, Mass.) improved to 7-7 from the circle as she struck out eight in the win while Wilson tallied three strikeouts in the loss (3-13).
SVC got runners to second and third in the bottom of the first to no avail as Cote worked out of it. Her offense then gave the Blazer senior a comfortable lead by scoring seven times in the top of the second. Senior right fielder Kacey Gifford (Suffield, Conn.) singled to the gap in right-center to plate the first run of the day, and Elms would follow with four-straight RBI-singles for the score to keep changing.
The Mountaineers got two back in the third when Bench caught a good hold of one and nearly sent it over the fence; her shot to left-center would fall just short, but Wilson and Matthews were still able to come around and score to make it a 7-2 tally.
Elms answered right away with two runs in the fourth as a sacrifice fly preceded Sylvia scoring on a Mountaineer miscue. Neither side crossed in the fifth before the Blazers made it a nine-run difference in the sixth. With two down, Olszewski launched one to straight-away center for the two-run digger and an 11-2 EC upper hand. Cote retired the SVC side in order in the home half for the run rule to come into play and end the game early.
GAME 2: Elms 14 – Southern Vermont 0 (5 inn.)
The Blazers continued to roll into game two as they scored in each of the first four frames while crossing the plate five times in both the second and third boxes. EC held the Mountaineers scoreless—keeping the hosts to just five hits for the sweep.
Matthews, Florence, Bottisti and freshman third baseman Dana Clement (Berkshire, Mass.) were all 1-2 in the effort as Bench went 1-3.
Sylvia continued her stellar day with a 4-4 showing from the batter's box—registering two doubles, three RBI's, and three runs scored. Sophomore designated player Erin O'Donnell (Glenmont, N.Y.) went 2-4 with three runs batted in and another two runs scored as sophomore left fielder Catharine Wrang (Middletown, Conn.) had a 2-3 performance in the leadoff spot with a walk and three runs scored.
EC sophomore righty Raeanna Tumel (Stafford, Conn.) collected the win (4-4) from the rubber while striking out one and allowing just four hits in four innings with the start. Wilson returned to the circle and chalked up two strikeouts in the loss (3-14).
Sylvia roped an RBI-single to right-center to bring home the opening run of the contest, and O'Donnell followed with a ground-rule double for Sylvia to come in from second. Gifford then notched an infield single to make it a 3-0 ballgame.
Wilson and Matthews recorded back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the first, but Elms came up with three-straight outs to keep the hosts off the board. EC then chalked up five runs in the second with the help of RBI-doubles by both Sylvia and sophomore Tèa Sullivan (Dracut, Mass.).
The Blazers broke it open with another five in the third as a Sylvia run-scoring single was followed by an RBI-double off of O'Donnell's bat. Sophomore Madison Messier (Warren, Mass.) short-hopped the fence in right for a triple to plate another, and EC would score two more to set the score at 13-0.
After Elms scored once on a ground out in the top of the fourth, Olszewski helped Tumel retire the side in order as she went all the way to the fence in foul ground on the third-base side of the park and made a great, reaching grab over the links to snag the foul pop up.
The Blazer junior would then be on the other end of some fine defensive work when she led-off the top of the fifth with a blast out to center; it was nearly Olszewski's second home run of the day to the same spot, but SVC freshman center fielder Taylor Jarosz (Troy, N.Y.) tracked it well and made a leaping grab at the fence—her momentum forcing the Mountaineer to go toppling over the wall while holding on to the ball to rob the homer.
Clement singled up the middle to lead-off the bottom of the fifth as Southern Vermont attempted to get on the board, but a line drive to first resulted in a double play for her to be erased. Cote, who entered the circle to finish off the game, then got a final pop up to first to end it.
– #LetsGoSVC –