Softball: Eagles Snuff Blazers With Two Seventh Inning Rallies
CHICOPEE, Mass. – Elms College sophomore second baseman Ali Bonavita (Agawam, Mass.), junior catcher Sarah Buckley (Wilbraham, Mass.) and junior center fielder Leah Spring (South Hadley, Mass.) each drove in a run, but Daniel Webster College plated three runs in the top of the seventh of game one and scored a run in the top of the seventh of game two to help seal a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) double-header sweep of the Blazers on Saturday afternoon at Cheryl R. Condon Field.
With the losses, Elms falls to 8-13 overall, 4-4 in NECC play, while Daniel Webster improves to 16-12 on the season, 8-1 in league play, its best conference record this late in a season in program history.
Daniel Webster 5, Elms 2
Daniel Webster crossed the dish first in the top of the first frame when Amy Waller (Berlin, Mass.) scored as Sarah Durocher (Keene, N.H.) reached on a fielding error by Elms to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The Blazers answered in the home half of the frame when sophomore left fielder Kellie McLaughlin (Pittsfield, Mass.) doubled to right center and then scored on an RBI single to center by Buckley to even the game at 1-1.
Daniel Webster regained the lead when Lauren Chesnulevich (Hudson, N.H.) singled in Courtney Brennan (Beverly, Mass.) to set the score at 2-1 before Elms tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a single to right by Bonavita sending senior right fielder Jennifer Killion (Cambridge, Mass.) home with the tying run.
Five two-out hits in the top of the seventh allowed the Eagles to plate three runs as Amanda Wilson (Merrimack, N.H.) connected for an RBI double to center, while Heather Strong (Palmer, Mass.) drove in a pair with a base hit to right to give Daniel Webster a 5-2 win.
Wilson (9-6) earned the win, holding Elms to just four hits while striking out three batters. Elms' senior right-hander Courtney Hampton (Westfield, Mass.) (4-6) suffered the loss while also issuing three strikeouts.
Waller, Chesnulevich, Wilson and Brennan each had two hits for the Eagles.
Daniel Webster 2, Elms 1
In game two, the sides played scoreless softball through two innings before Waller delivered an RBI single to right field to give the Eagles a 1-0 advantage.
Elms responded in the bottom of the third frame when Spring drove in a run on an RBI fielder's choice to tie the contest at 1-1.
Blazers' freshman pitcher Alyson Santerre (Thompson, Conn.) and Durocher, who pitched game two for Daniel Webster, each tossed three more scoreless innings and keep the game at a stalemate heading into the seventh.
Three consecutive singles with one out in the top of the seventh loaded the bases for Daniel Webster before Wilson reached on fielder's choicke allowing Chesnulevich to score what stood as the game-winning run.
In the bottom of the seventh, Elms placed runners on the corners as McLaughlin and freshman pinch-hitter Colleen Flaherty (Stoughton, Mass.) picked up a hit each in the frame, but Wilson, who entered to pitch the seventh for the Eagles, induced a game-ending groundout to seal the victory.
Chesnulevich was 3 for 3 with a run scored for Daniel Webster, while sophomore first baseman Ally Witaszek (Feeding Hills, Mass.) was 2 for 3 with a run scored for Elms in the loss.
Santerre (2-4) suffered the loss for the Blazers, while Durocher (7-6) earned the win and Wilson notched the save.
Elms returns to NECC action on Sunday, April 15 when it hosts Lesley University beginning at 12:00 p.m. at Cheryl R. Condon Field.