WORCESTER, Mass. — The Worcester State University softball team split a pair of games with the Salem State Vikings on Senior Day in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) doubleheader on Saturday. With the split, the Lancers' record is now 10-16 overall and 5-5 in the MASCAC. The Vikings now stand at 18-14 overall and 6-4 in the league.
GAME ONE: Salem State 8, Worcester State 7
In the first game of the afternoon, Salem State plated five runs in the first inning after a series of walks and four hits from the Vikings' Jen Crovo (Melrose, Mass.), Samantha Holey (Lynn, Mass.), Dominique del Vecchio (Stoneham, Mass.) and April Adams (Burlington, Mass.).
The Lancers slowly chipped away at Salem State's lead, finally knotting the game at 6-6 at the end of the 7th inning on a double from Courtney Salisbury (Cranston, RI). However, for the Vikings, Desiree Moreno (Ashburnham, Mass.) walked. Her pinch runner, Kasey Nolan (Braintree, Mass.) advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Del Vecchi. Next, Ivy Bonoldi (Medfield, Mass.) ripped a ball to right field, scoring Nolan. The Vikings then capitalized on a Lancer error with two outs, plating their final run of the game and giving them an 8-6 advantage over the Lancers going into the bottom of the 8th.
In the bottom of the 8th, it looked as if the Lancers would accept the loss, until Dakota Smith-Porter (Montague, Mass.) hammered a homerun over the fence to left center with two outs. Nevertheless, the Lancers were unable to plate another run, and accepted the loss of 8-7.
Smith-Porter led the Blue and Gold offensively, as she went 4-for-5 with a home run, three runs and an RBI. Salisbury picked up three hits and a game-high two RBI in the loss.
Suffering the loss was Worcester State's Mary McKeown (Shrewsbury, Mass.), pitching in the first inning and her record slides to 4-3. Salem State's Ileish Burney (Bristol, Conn.) tossed eight complete innings, allowing 13 hits and improving to 7-6 on the season.
GAME TWO: Worcester State 8, Salem State 7
In the nightcap, Salem State took the lead early on again, plating two runs in the 2nd inning. However, Worcester State rallied back scoring five runs in the 5th inning, scattering three hits and capitalizing on three Salem State fielding errors.
Salem State clawed their way back again late in the game, scoring five more runs in the top of the 6th, giving them a 7-6 advantage over the Lancers. But, the Lancers fought back again, as Smith-Porter crushed her second homerun of the day which hit the scoreboard, knotting the score up 7-7.
The Lancers showed what they were made off in the top of the 8th, closing out a quick 1-2-3 inning. Next, it appeared as if the game would continue into a 9th inning, until Salisbury was able to reach first on an error and teammate Kristen Huston (Spencer, Mass.) singled with a bunt down the third base line as Salisbury advanced to third on a botched throw. Next up, Sydney Despres (Sterling, Mass.) singled up the middle, scoring Salisbury and winning the game for the Lancers, 8-7.
Leading the Lancers offense was Smith-Porter, who tallied up a double, homerun, and three RBI in the second game. Kaci Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) also chipped in with a double and an RBI, while teammates Despres, Haley Scola (Worcester, Mass.) and Kaiulani Ennis (Swansea, Mass.) each had an RBI for the Lancers.
Earning the win in the circle was Smith-Porter, who pitched 2.2 innings and her record improves to an even 3-3 on the season. Accepting the loss was Viking's pitcher Meghan Black (Winchendon, Mass.) who now has a record of 11-7 on the season.
Next up, the Lancers will travel to Fitchburg State on Tuesday, April 25th with a 3:30 p.m. start time. Salem State will travel to Framingham State on the same day with a 1:00 p.m. start time.
Release written by Alyssa Hill | Sports Information Graduate Assistant