BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College softball team was defeated by a pair of 9-1 tallies during its Opening Day as Becker College took the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) sweep at Willow Park on Saturday.
Next up for SVC (1-21, 1-7 NECC) is a Sunday league twin bill at Bay Path University with first pitch slated for 3 p.m. Becker (12-10, 6-2 NECC) is back in action on Wednesday as the Hawks host Worcester Polytechnic Institute for a 3 p.m. non-conference doubleheader.
GAME 1: Becker 9 – Southern Vermont 1
The visitors used five runs in the third to go on top 6-0 before SVC got on the board with a lone run in the bottom of the box. Becker then extended the separation the rest of the way while keeping the Mountaineers from crossing the dish.
Southern Vermont sophomore second baseman Brooke Gates (Pittsfield, Mass.) went 2-3 with a run scored while fellow sophomore and center fielder Taylor Jarosz (Karaganda, Kazakhstan) knocked in the Mountaineers' run on a sacrifice bunt.
Becker junior Megan Klemanchuck (Pawtucket, R.I.) was 4-5 with two runs scored and a pair of RBIs as senior center fielder Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass.) went 3-3 with two walks, three runs scored, and a run batted in.
Hawk junior Samantha Belenchia (Ansonia, Conn.) grabbed her first win (4-4) of the day from the circle as she struck out 12 in the seven innings on the rubber. Southern Vermont senior righty Shea Wilson (Mesa, Ariz.) went the first two innings with the ball and was tagged with the loss (0-11).
Carkhuff was able to round the bases in the top of the first when she hit a towering shot to left-center; the Mountaineer outfielder tracked it and lunged to make a play near the wall, but the ball bounced off her glove and over the fence for the home run. A two-run single to center off the bat of junior left fielder Vasia Murphy (Dracut, Mass.) in the top of the third then provided the Hawks all they would need for the win.
Down 6-0 in the bottom of the third, SVC worked runners to the corners with one out; Jarosz laid down a great bunt which allowed Gates to break on the throw and make it home under the tag. Becker didn't make it an eight-run difference until the seventh, and the Mountaineers were unable to stage a comeback in their final trip to the plate.
GAME 2: Becker 9 – Southern Vermont 1 (6 inn.)
After the Hawks put up four runs to start the backend of the doubleheader, Southern Vermont answered with a solo score in the bottom of the frame. SVC couldn't manufacture any more offense, however, and Becker opened the difference up to eight with a pair in the sixth for the game to end ahead of schedule.
Matthews was 1-2 with a home run, and Gates was also 1-2 with the bat.
Becker freshman Sarah Ellis (Berkley, Mass.) went 3-4 with two doubles, a pair of runs scored, and an RBI out of the leadoff spot. Belenchia helped herself offensively with a 2-4 showing which included three RBIs and two runs scored.
Belenchia recorded another five strikeouts to collect her second win (5-4) of the afternoon—giving up just one run on three hits. Wilson was tagged with the loss (0-12) after striking out four in her six innings of work.
Carkhuff and Belenchia each ripped RBI singles in the onset of the contest, and the Hawks used a double steal with runners at the corners to go on top 4-0. Matthews came to the plate in the bottom of the first and trimmed it to a three-run deficit when she launched her second home run of the year over the fence in left-center.
Becker notched a lone run in the third before scoring twice in the fourth to make it a 7-1 game; Ellis raked an RBI double to the gap in right during that stretch. Belenchia capped the day's run production in the sixth when she connected for a two-run dinger to left.
– #LetsGoSVC –