Softball: Eagles Sweep Nighthawks For Fourth Straight, Even NECC Record
- Courtesy Newbury Sports Information -
Brookline, Mass. - Daniel Webster third baseman Amanda Varricchio (Middletown, CT/ Mercy) helped guide the Eagles back to .500 on their NECC season with a six-for-nine performance Saturday afternoon as Daniel Webster swept Newbury, 11-2 and 11-6.
The Nighthawks jumped out in front first as shortstop Katelyn Mark (Quincy, MA/North Quincy) led off the first lining a double to centerfield. She came around to score on a base hit by left fielder Brittany Stracher (Dudley, MA/Shepherd Hill Regional) to give Newbury the 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until the top of the fourth when Daniel Webster plated two runs to take the one-run advantage.
But the Nighthawks answered in the bottom half as sophomore Olga Cepeda (Boston, MA/Madison) led off with a base hit to left center and advanced to second on a passed ball. Catcher Ariel Ross (Gales Ferry, CT/Ledyard) was safe on an error by the shortstop to move Cepeda up a bag. First baseman Catherine O'Connell (Quincy, MA/North Quincy) lifted a sacrifice fly to left for the first out of the inning, to plate Cepeda.
Daniel Webster regained the lead with a run in the fifth before batting around in the top of the sixth as the Eagles pushed five more runs across the dish to go increase their lead to six. Shortstop Kristina Rieger (Concord, NH/Concord) added to the Eagle lead lining a two-out, bases-loaded double to right field.
In the second game, Daniel Webster continued where they left off as they took the early 2-0 lead in the first. After second baseman Amy Waller (Berlin, MA/Tahanto) reached on the third baseman's fielding error, Varricchio followed, singling into right to send Waller to third. Two batters later, centerfielder Chelsey Crawford (Westfield, MA/Westfield) popped out to short but it was deep enough to plate Waller from third with the game's first run. First baseman Lauren Chesnulevich (Hudson, NH/Alvirne) plated the final run of the inning with a single to center.
The Nighthawks responded in the bottom of the second where they plated three runs to take the one-run advantage. After Rieger hit both O'Connell and Ross to lead off the inning, center fielder Jessica Jordan (Stoneham, MA/Stoneham) drew a walk to load the bases with only one out. Right fielder Audrey Spataro (Holland, MA/Malden) singled into left to drive in both O'Connell and Ross to knot up the score at two. Spataro came around to score the third and final run of the frame on a single to left by Stracher.
But Newbury pitching could not tame the Daniel Webster offense. The Eagles re-gained the lead with two runs in the top of the third before batting around, once again, in the fourth to plate another five runs. They increased their six run lead by adding another two in the fifth inning to make it an 11-6 game.
Down by five late in the contest, the Nighthawks mounted a valiant comeback attempt in the fifth and sixth innings. After Cepeda doubled to left to lead off the bottom of the fifth, O'Connell followed up with a base hit back where it came from. Following two quick outs, Spataro kept the inning alive reaching on an error by the third baseman to plate Cepeda.
Newbury would cut the deficit in the next inning as Stracher led off with a double down the third baseline and moved up a bag on a ground ball to second for the first out of the inning. She came into score the Nighthawks fifth run of the game as Cepeda lined her second double in as many innings into left center. Cepeda finished the afternoon going three-for-eight with an RBI and three runs scored. She scored the sixth and final run of the game for Newbury on a sacrifice fly off the bat of O'Connell.
The loss drops the Nighthawks to 9-18 and 2-9 in the conference while the Eagles improve to 9-12 and 4-4 in the NECC. Newbury returns to the diamond tomorrow, Sunday April 25th, against Elms College at 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM. Daniel Webster will host Bay Path College tomorrow at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM.