WORCESTER, Mass. – Despite an attempted comeback in the top of the seventh inning by Bridgewater State, the No. 1 seeded Worcester State University softball team edged the No. 4 seeded Bears by a score of 6-5 in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) quarterfinal game Thursday evening.
May 3, 2018
Score: Worcester State 6, Bridgewater State 5
Records: Worcester State (23-9) | Bridgewater State (18-18)
After shutting out Bridgewater State in the first inning, Worcester State's Kaiulani Ennis (Swansea, Mass.) led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo homer to left center for the 1-0 score.
Following a scoreless second inning, Bridgewater State logged its first hit of the game when Kacie Carvalho (Fairhaven, Mass.) singled to short. She advanced to second on a Samantha Mulcahy (Taunton, Mass.) sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a Meghan Navarro (Taunton, Mass.) single through the left side. Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.) plated Carvalho for the first Bear run of the game on a sacrifice bunt, knotting the score at 1-1.
Worcester State took back the lead in the reverse side of the inning when Sydney Despres (Sterling, Mass.) smacked a three-run homer to left field for the 4-1 score.
Worcester State added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when Samantha Stake (Worcester, Mass.) crossed the plate on an Ennis single. Pinch runner Monica Ferrazzani (North Reading, Mass.) scored on the same play on an error by the Bears' left fielder to make it a 6-1 game.
The Bears added another run in the top of the sixth on an RBI groundout from Alexandra Ruprecht (Kingston, Mass.).
After Bridgewater's relief pitcher, Kaitlyn Shaw (Lakeville, Mass.), shutout the Blue and Gold in the bottom of the sixth, the Bears made the game interesting in the top of the seventh inning. Following a Carvalho walk, Bridgewater State had back-to-back singles from Mulcahy, Navarro, Grindle, and Rebecca Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.) to advance the score to 6-5. Two runs were scored on a Grindle blast to left center, and another on Uschmann's single up the middle – all with no outs on the board. The Bears had two runners on base, but Worcester State caused a Bear groundout, fly out, and a strike out to retire the side and end the game with a 6-5 Lancer advantage.
- Worcester State's Ennis batted 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.
- The Lancers' Despres led with a game-high three RBI and batted 2-for-3 at the plate.
- Kaci Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) also registered two hits with one double for the Blue and Gold.
- Bridgewater's Carvalho batted 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored.
- Navarro also logged two hits in the setback, while Grindle had a game-high three RBI for the Bears.
- Mulcahy and Grindle each recorded a sacrifice hit.
- Worcester State's Dakota Smith-Porter (Montague, Mass.) pitched a complete game and allowed five runs on 10 Bear hits. She walked four batters and struck out four at the plate.
- Bridgewater State's Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, Mass.) was tabbed the loss in four innings pitched. She allowed six runs (one unearned) on seven hits. She struck out one batter.
- Shaw finished out the game in the circle for the Bears, as she pitched two innings and allowed just one Lancer hit.
- The Bears edged the Lancers in hits 10-8.
- Bridgewater State left eight runners on base, while Worcester stranded four.
- The Lancers extend its winning streak to 13.
The teams will resume play with the semifinal rounds of the tournament on Saturday (May 5). Bridgewater State will open up the day at 11 a.m. with a semifinal game against No. 3 Westfield State. Worcester State will play at 1:30 p.m. against the No. 2 seeded Framingham State Rams. Visit the MASCAC Softball Tournament Central page for more information.