Owls secure second seed in LEC tournament with split at RIC

Owls secure second seed in LEC tournament with split at RIC

Providence, R.I.- 4/29/12 – Needing one win to secure second place in the upcoming Little East Conference tournament, the Keene State College softball team accomplished its goals with an 11-3 (six inning) second game victory over Rhode Island College at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex on Sunday evening.

Keene State freshman designated player Samantha Nitso (Londonderry, NH) went 4-for-4 with two runs scored, a homer and three RBI in the game two victory. Rhode Island College junior right fielder Kristina Gingell (Pascoag, RI) had a bases-clearing three-run double in a game one, 7-4, win for the Anchorwomen.

RIC (19-16, 10-4 LEC) and KSC (23-8-1, 10-4 LEC) finish tied for second place. The Owls garnered the second seed, while the Anchorwomen are the third seed, in the upcoming 2012 Little East Conference Softball Tournament, which will begin on Thursday, May 3 at top seed Eastern Connecticut.

In game one, Keene State took a 1-0 lead in the second inning as sophomore third baseman Ellissa Coburn (Claremont, NH) smacked a one-out RBI double to left center field.

The hosts stormed back in the third inning as freshman left fielder Taylor Nelson (Wareham, MA) reached on an infield single and later scored on a wild pitch. Junior designated player Jessica Borden (Lincoln, RI) struck a big blow with her two-run single.

Junior pitcher/baseman Emily Johnson (West Kingston, RI) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth and Gingell followed with her double to break the game open.

Sophomore Maria Darling (Ansonia, CT) came on in relief of Johnson in the third and was cruising along until the Owls put three on the board in the fifth. The visitors put one across on an Anchorwoman error and junior right fielder Jessica Fiorenza (Wakefield, MA) knocked in a pair with a single. Johnson returned to the pitching circle to help secure the win.

Darling was credited with the victory (2-0), allowing two runs on two hits and striking out one in two innings of work. KSC senior pitcher Sara Stocklinski (Newton, NJ) took the loss (9-4) and was forced to leave the game in the third inning due to an injury.

Game two proved to be much different for Keene State as the Owls pounded a trio of RIC pitchers for 11 runs and 17 hits.

KSC scored five times in the third as Nitso and senior center fielder Laura Chandler (Wakefield, MA) contributed RBI singles. Junior third baseman Nicole Dupuis (Fitchburg, MA) plated two with a double down the left field line and sophomore second baseman Molly Dussault (Weare, NH) capped the stanza with an RBI single.

RIC mounted a comeback in the bottom of the third as an error kept the inning alive and allowed freshman shortstop Katelyn Sykora (Waterford, CT) to score and then Johnson made the Owls pay with a follow-up two-run single to center field.

Nitso homered (3) in the fourth and junior left fielder Kayla Joyce (Bridgewater, MA) cracked a long homer (4) to left as part of a three-run third to help put the nightcap away. Senior shortstop Katie Bradford (West Lebanon, NH) helped make it an eight-run advantage with a two-run single in the sixth, which ended the game an inning early.

Senior pitcher Emily Albin (Bethel, CT) picked up the complete game victory (10-3), holding RIC to three runs, none of which were earned, on six hits to go along with six punchouts in six innings of work. Borden (9-8) took the loss.

Nelson went 3-for-7 with two runs scored for the Anchorwomen. Nitso went 5-for-7 with three runs scored, a double, a home run and three RBI to pace the Owl offense.

(Courtesy RIC Sports Information)