WORCESTER, Mass.—The Worcester State University softball team swept in two single-run games over the Bridgewater State Bears in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) doubleheader on Friday.
With the pair of wins, the Lancers advance to 9-13 overall and 4-2 in the MASCAC. The Bears dip to 9-15 and 2-4 in the league.
GAME ONE: Worcester State 9, Bridgewater State 8
The Lancers slipped past Bridgewater State with a close score of 9-8 in the first game of the afternoon as Rachel Couto (Chelmsford, Mass.) had three hits and teammates Courtney Salisbury (Cranston, RI), Dakota Smith-Porter (Montague, Mass.), Kayla Humphrey (Wallingford, CT), and Kristen Huston (Spencer, Mass.) registered two hits apiece.
The Lancers picked up their runs on 14 hits and were led by Salisbury, who went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI.
Bridgewater held the lead for the first two innings. In the top of the 1st, the Bears took advantage when their first batter, Breanna Shaffer (Plainville Mass.), was walked. The next batter, Kacie Carvalho (Fairhaven, Mass.) bunted Shaffer to second base to put her in scoring position. Next, Carvalho and Shaffer stole second and third and teammate Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.) walked, giving the Bears bases loaded with only one out. Next up, Jackie Welch (Hubbardston, Mass.) and Kristyna Flaherty (Burlington, Mass.) hit RBI singles, giving the Bears a 2-0 advantage over the Lancers after their first at bat.
The Bears went into the bottom of the 3rd inning with a 4-3 advantage over the Lancers, but the Lancers clawed their way back taking the lead as they scored four runs on six hits and one error in the bottom of the 3rd. Bridgewater took the lead for a second time in the top of the 6th, scoring three runs on a series of walks by the Lancer's relief pitcher, but the Lancers turned a double play to end the inning.
As the Lancers entered the bottom of the 7th inning, they were down by one run, but managed to score, capitalizing on Bridgewater State errors. The Lancers won on a walk-off, after they scored their second run of the inning on a dropped pop-fly.
Worcester State's Mary McKeown (Shrewsbury, Mass.) earned the win in the circle, improving her record to 3-2. Bridgewater State's Mackenzie Holt (Gilroy, Calif.) took the loss, pitching four innings. Her record slides to 1-3.
GAME TWO: Worcester State 8, Bridgewater State 7
In another close game, the Lancers edged the Bears by a score of 8-7 in the second game of the afternoon as Worcester State's Kaci Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) hit the game-winning run in the top of the 5th off a solo shot to centerfield.
Panarelli went 2-for-3 with a game-high three RBI in the win. Also batting at the .666 mark was Sydney Despres (Sterling, Mass.) and Couto. Salisbury was the offensive star for the Lancers, going 3-for-4 with two runs and two doubles.
For the visitors, Courtney Leddy (Saugus, Mass.) and Flaherty both went 3-for-4 on the occasion. Both Grindle and Morgan Cox (Dennis Port, Mass.) collected two hits, while one of Cox's was a homer.
The Lancers got on the board quick, as they scored three runs in the top of the 1st inning on RBI's from Despres, Couto and Smith-Porter.
However, the Bears made a comeback and scored four runs on four hits and one Lancer error in the top of the 2nd. The first hit was a solo shot to left field from Cox. Bridgewater State managed to score three additional runs on RBI from Shaffer and Leddy and a Worcester State error.
The Lancers stole back the lead in the bottom of the 3rd on a 2-RBI single from Panarelli, plating Corrie Derosier (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and Couto.
Bridgewater knotted the score at 7-7 in the top of the 5th inning. However, Panarelli broke the tie on her solo shot to centerfield in the reverse side for, what turned out to be, the game-winning run.
Worcester State's relief pitcher, McKown, earned her fourth win of the season, while Humprhey earned the save. Holt suffered her second loss of the day in 4.2 innings in the circle.
Next up, the Lancers travel to Framingham State on Monday (Apr. 17) for another MASCAC doubleheader. The Bears host Fitchburg State on the same date.