Attleboro, Mass. - Top Seed Newbury College secured the 13-3 win over Southern Vermont College to Advance to the double elimination portion of the NECC Tournament. The Nighthawks will face fifth seeded Bay Path University after the Wildcats took out the defending champions, Becker College, 7-5 with four of their runs coming in the seventh. This marks the third straight year that the defending champions have fallen in the first round of the tournament.
Second seeded Lesley University shut out seventh seeded Mitchell College 7-0 to also advance to the next round. They will face third seeded Regis College who needed extra innings to eliminate Elms College from the tournament with a 5-4 victory. The double elimination part of the tournament has been changed to Thursday due to the forecast, game times are TBA.
#1 Newbury 13, #8 Southern Vermont 3
FRANKLIN, Mass. – A seven-run opening inning, all with two outs, was the catalyst for the Nighthawks offense as the top-seeded Nighthawks are moving on to the NECC Semifinal, Double Elimination Bracket via a 13-3 victory over the No. 8 seed Southern Vermont Mountaineers on Tuesday afternoon at Grant Field.
Nighthawks freshman Arianna Gooden finished 4-for-4 including her first career home run. SophomoreTina Babcock went 3-for-3 including a double and two runs scored. All nine Nighthawk starters finished the game with at least one hit.
Mountaineers junior Nicole Matthews batted 1-for-3 including a solo home run in the top of the third. Freshman Carly Gillman finished 1-for-2 including a triple.
After two straight outs in the bottom of the first, the Nighthawks looked like they would be retired 1-2-3, but a throwing error by the Mountaineers third baseman continued the inning. Senior Naomi Ricciotti then singled, scoring Alexis Vieira, tying the game at 1-1.
A Gooden single in the next at-bat, followed by a throwing error, scored Ricciotti and moved Gooden to third. A RBI single by freshman Mallory Stefan made the score 3-1 Nighthawks.
Babcock then doubled to left field, moving Stefan to third. Stefan later scored on a wild pitch, Babcock scored following a double by senior Elizabeth Kia, giving the Nighthawks a 5-1 lead.
Senior Lindsey Clark would single home Kia and Clark later made it 7-1 on a passed ball.
The Nighthawks added more in the second, starting with Gooden's first career home run, a shot to right-center field. A Clark RBI groundout and Babcock scoring on a wild pitch would give the Nighthawks a 10-1 lead after two.
The Mountaineers got one back in the third with a home run by Matthews, her fourth of the season.
After a RBI single by Kia in the bottom of the third, Gillman's triple would score another for the Mountaineers, who now trailed 11-3.
However, in the bottom of the inning, Nighthawks sophomore Noelle Sass hit a two-run shot to right-center field, giving the Nighthawks a 13-3 edge.
Three groundouts in the top half of the fifth ended the game in five innings.
Stefan received the start for the Nighthawks, going all five innings while allowing three runs on four hits. Stefan moves herself to 10-9 with the win.
Mountaineers junior Shea Wilson pitched four innings for Southern Vermont, allowing 13 runs, just six earned, on 15 hits.
The season comes to a close for the Mountaineers who returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
The Nighthawks improve to 20-15 with the victory and move forward to the double elimination portion of the NECC Playoffs. Waiting for the Nighthawks are the Lesley Lynx, the Regis Pride, and the Bay Path Wildcats.
For the first time in school history, a Nighthawks outdoor team will play host to the weekend tournament; the site and time of all games are yet to be determined.
The Nighthawks will face the Wildcats, who are on a 10-game win streak, including eight against NECC Teams. That game will take place on Thursday, May 4 with time and site to be determined tomorrow.
Courtesy of Newbury Athletics Communications.
#2 Lesley 7, #7 Mitchell 0
WELLESLEY, Mass. – The second-seeded Lesley University softball team advances to the double-elimination round of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship with a 7-0 shut-out over seventh seed Mitchell College, Tuesday afternoon.
First year right-hander Sarah Bushman earned her 11th victory of the season, improving to 11-6 on the season after tossing seven innings of two-hit ball. Striking out seven Mariners, Bushman went on a stretch run where she retired 12 straight batters before giving up a two-out triple to second baseman Samantha DelConte in the sixth.
The Lynx wasted little time jumping on Mariner sophomore right-handerTaylor Duchesneau for a run in the bottom of the first. Senior right-fielder Mekenzi Golden opened the game with a lead-off single and extended her hitting streak to 15 games. She advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt before coming into score two batters later on fielder's choice.
It proved to be more than enough for Bushman but the Lynx were far from done offensively. After extending their lead to 3-0 scoring twice in the third, Golden came up with runners scoring position in the bottom of the fourth. The southern California native drove a Duchesneau offering high over the leftfield fence, when it came down the Lynx had a 6-0 lead. It was her sixth homerun of the season.
Lesley grabbed another run an inning later, in the top of the fifth. First year backstop Ally Murphy began the fifth roping a double into right-centerfielder. Two batters later, junior second baseman Courtney Goggin came through in the clutch driving a double down the rightfield lien to plate Murphy.
Duchesneau took the loss after allowing seven runs – only four earned – on 12 hits with two strikeouts to fall to 7-15 on the season.
The Mariner's season comes to a close as they end the 2017 season with a 13-18 record. The Lynx improve to 19-16 and will host third-seed Regis College on Thursday May 4th.
Courtesy of Lesley Athletics Communications.
#3 Regis 5, #6 Elms 4 (8innings)
WESTON, Mass. - Junior Alexa Nejaime hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth inning as the third-seeded Regis (Mass.) softball team came from behind to beat #6 Elms 5-4 in the First Round of the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament on Tuesday night at Regis Field.
The Blazers opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, when junior Elizabeth Olszewski got all of a Madi McLellan fastball, sending a shot over the right center field fence for a 1-0 Blazer lead.
The lead was short-lived for the Blazers, as the Pride evened the score in the bottom of the inning. Two batter after a lined shot nearly left the yard off the bat of Regis freshman Ellery Rasmussen for a double, sophomore Lisa Lusardi reached on an error by the Elms left fielder, scoring Rasmussen to bring the score to 1-1.
The score was still 1-1 when Olszewski stepped to the plate in the top of the fourth, and the junior changed that with one swing. Olszewski turned on a McLellan offering, sending a two-run shot over the left field wall, giving the Blazers a 3-1 lead. The performance was Olszewski's second career two-home run game, the other coming last season in a win over Southern Vermont.
Lusardi again had an answer in the bottom of the inning for the Pride. After Rasmussen again led off the inning with a wall ball double, Lusardi roped a two-out double up the middle to bring home pinch runner Gabrielle Cammarata to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Elms threated to all but put it away in the top of the seventh inning, as the Blazers loaded the bases with nobody out. McLellan forced sophomore Erin O'Donnell to ground into a 1-2-3 double play for the first two outs before getting senior Kacey Gifford to pop out to short to end the threat.
Now with all the momentum, the Pride needed just one run to tie in the bottom of the inning, and would get it. After Lusardi reached on an error by the Elms third baseman to lead off the inning, pinch runner Rachel Tortora advanced to second on a Jenna Casello sacrifice bunt and to third on a passed ball. With two outs in the inning, lead off hitter Brianna Napoleone lined one up the middle to tie the game at three and send the game into extra innings.
Again the Blazers loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the eighth, but were only able to get one run across the plate. Sophomore Jeszy McGuire (Brimfield, Mass.) singled to left field to give the Blazers a 4-3 lead with no outs, but McLellan escaped otherwise unscathed, retiring the next three batters.
After sophomore Kelsey Grimard was placed on second base, pinch hitter Allie Petillo laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance her to third with just one out in the inning. Rasmussen was intentionally walked to put runners on the corners, before senior Allison Caloggero tied the game with an RBI single to left field. After Rasmussen and Caloggero advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, Nejaime hit a grounder to second base, but Rasmussen slid under the tag on the throw home to give the Pride the thrilling walk-off win.
Courtesy of Regis Athletics Communications.
#5 Bay Path 7, #4 Becker 5
LEICESTER, Mass. - The Becker College softball team saw their 2017 season come to an end on Tuesday, as they lost 7-5 to visiting Bay Path University in the opening round of the New England Collegiate Conference Playoffs at Russell Field in Leicester.
The Bay Path Wildcats (22-15) were led by freshman third baseman Lilly West who went two-for-three with three RBI. Sophomore catcher Katrina Peck had a home run with two runs driven in.
For the Becker Hawks (18-19), it was a bitter loss that saw three seniors finish their time as Hawks. Pitching in the final game of her storied collegiate career, senior pitcher Samantha Lee struck out four Wildcats in seven innings while going two-for-four at the plate with a home run and two RBI. Senior first baseman Ashley Ciepiela had a hit and a run while senior outfielder Katelyn MacLean also saw the end of her time at Becker.
Bay Path got on the board first in the top of the first inning when Peck's two-run homer to center field put the Wildcats ahead 2-0.
Becker got one of those runs back in the bottom of the second when sophomore outfielder Vasia Murphy scored from third on a wild pitch. Murphy finished the day going two-for-four with a double.
Then in the bottom of the fourth, Becker freshman infielder Shannon Lundy, starting just her third game of the season, doubled to left center to drive in sophomore shortstop Megan Klemanchuck. Lundy finished with three hits and two RBI while Klemanchuck went two-for-four.
Lee tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI double to right center, driving in sophomore center fielder Samantha Belenchia had one hit on the day.
Then in the bottom of the sixth, Lundy hit her second RBI base hit of the day to give Becker the leader, driving in Ciepiela. Now up 4-3, Becker was just three outs away from advancing to the double-elimination round of the playoffs.
But in the top of the seventh, the Bay Path offense exploded. An RBI fielder's choice from freshman Kiley Bissell with the bases loaded tied the game at 4-4. On the very next at bat, West singled up the middle to score two runs. Two batters later, Bissell scored from third on a stolen base. The Wildcats went up 7-4.
In the bottom of the seventh with the season on the line, Lee lead off the inning with a home run to left, pulling the Hawks to within two. Three batters later, Becker had runners at second and third with one out, the tying run in scoring position. But Lundy popped up to the shortstop and MacLean grounded out for the final out of the season.
Courtesy of Becker Athletics Communications.
First Round – Tuesday, May 2nd7:00PM - Game 1: #1 Newbury 13, #8 Southern Vermont 3 4:00PM - Game 2: #2 Lesley 7, #7 Mitchell 0 4:00PM - Game 3: #3 Regis 5, #6 Elms 4 (8 innings) 4:00PM - Game 4: #5 Bay Path 7, #4 Becker 5
Thursday, May 4, 20177:00PM- Game 5: #5 Bay Path vs. #1 Newbury (played @Wentworth) 7:30PM - Game 6: #3 Regis vs. #2 Lesley (played @Regis)
Championship - Saturday, May 6, 2017 @ Wentworth12:00PM - Game 7: Loser of Game 5 vs. Loser of Game 6 2:00PM - Game 8: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6 4:00PM - Game 9: Winner of Game 7 vs. Loser of Game 8
Sunday, May 7, 2017 @ Wentworth1:00PM - Game 10: Winner of Game 8 vs. Winner of Game 9 3:00PM - Game 11: If Necessary