KEENE, N.H. 4/19/05 - Ashlee Nicholson (Swanzey, N.H.)pitched a complete game five-hitter to lead Keene State College to a 2-0 shutout victory over rival Plymouth State in the second game of a Little East Conference softball doubleheader played Tuesday at Owl Athletic Complex. The win enabled the Owls to split the twinbill after the Panthers took the opener 1-0.
In the nightcap, the Owls scored both of their runs in the fifth inning. Elizabeth Mroczka (Rocky Hill, Conn.) led off with a single. She advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on Kari Gardner's (Grafton, Mass.) sacrifice. Mroczka came home on a bunt by Kristie Braley (Derry, N.H.). Amanda Foote (Hudson, N.H.) later singled, stole second and came home on an outfield error.
Nicholson fanned three and didn't give up a walk to improve her record to 5-2. Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) struck out four without issuing a walk. She is now 5-10. Rose Eaton (6-9) (Concord, N.H.) tossed a one-hitter in the Panthers' opening game win. She had five strike outs and no walks to earn the victory. Meghan McLoughlin (7-2) (Brattleboro, Vt.) was the hard luck loser for the Owls. She fanned nine and allowed three hits in seven innings on the mound.
PSU scored the game's only run in the top of the fifth inning. Colleen Courtney (Norwood, Mass.) singled to left field to score pinch runner Ashley Riberdy (Manchester, N.H.). Riberdy, who pinch ran for Kristi Curry (Nottingham, N.H.), advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Devin Caswell (Wilton, N.H.) and later came home on an RBI single by Courtney.
Katy Conklin (Selkirk, N.Y.) got the only hit for KSC, a single up the middle with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
With the victory, KSC clinched the President's Trophy. The Owls hold an 8-6 advantage in head-to-head regular-season contests against the Panthers. It is the first time a school has won the trophy in consecutive seasons.
Keene State is back at Owl Athletic Complex tomorrow for a non-conference doubleheader against Williams College (4 p.m.).