Owls hand Lord Jeff's their first loss in doubleheader split
AMHERST, Mass. 4/6/12 – After dropping game one 4-2, the Keene State College softball team handed undefeated Amherst College their first loss of the season, slugging 11 hits and scoring nine runs in a 9-7 victory over the Lord Jeff's on Friday afternoon. Both teams came into today's non-conference doubleheader regionally ranked, with Amherst in the third spot and KSC pegged fourth.
"Even in our loss in game one I felt like we hit the ball very hard but just right at people," said KSC head coach Charlie Beach. "This team is very confident and we feel like we can compete with anybody and that is what we did today."
With the split, Keene State finishes the day with a 10-2 overall record, while the Lord Jeff's stand at 22-1.
The middle of the lineup did the damage for the Owls in game two, as senior shortstop Katie Bradford (Lebanon, N.H.) went 3-for-4 with four RBI's and two runs scored, and senior designated player Sara Stocklinski (Newton, N.J.) had four hits in as many at-bats, with three RBI's in the game. "We pride ourselves on our ability to hit the ball," said Beach. "We practice hitting a lot and we are a very offensive-minded team."
Trailing 2-1 in the top of the fourth, KSC exploded for five runs, with junior Jessica Fiorenza (Wakefield, Mass.), Bradford, and Stocklinski all collecting RBI hits.
In their next at-bat, the Owls put up three more runs, with Bradford's two-RBI triple, and Stocklinski's infield RBI single giving KSC the 9-2 lead.
Amherst wouldn't go quietly, scoring one in the fifth, and putting up four runs on the bottom of the sixth. KSC senior closer Samantha Pratt (W. Hartford, Conn.) came in to pitch the seventh, allowing two hits but striking out two Lord Jeff's to earn her third save of the season. "After we got out to the big lead we started to give away the game a little bit," said Beach. "Pratt came in and threw some water on the fire and got us out of there with the win."
Starting on the mound for the Owls, senior Emily Albin (Bethel, Conn.) went five innings allowing seven hits and only two earned runs while striking out six to improve to 3-1 on the season.
In game one the Owls out-hit Amherst 9-7, but couldn't manage to get the big hit stranding six runners on base in the game. Senior centerfielder Laura Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) handled the scoring on her own, cracking a two run homer to centerfield to give the Owls a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth. "Laura hit an absolute monster homerun over the scoreboard," said Beach. "I wouldn't be surprised if that ball went 270 feet."
After Amherst tied it in the bottom half, Lord Jeff sophomore Kaitlin Silkowitz's (Scarsdale, N.Y.) RBI-double and junior Reilly Horan's (Darien, Conn.) sacrifice-fly, gave the home team a 4-2 advantage.
The Owls threatened in the top half of the seventh, with two runners on base and no outs, but Amherst starter Theresa Kelley (Los Angeles, California) stopped the Keene State rally with one of her eight strikeouts.
At the plate, Stocklinski went a perfect 6-for-6 on the day, going 2-for-2 in game one with a run scored. Laura Chandler and Kayla Joyce (Bridgewater, Mass.) each went 2-for-3 for the Owls in the losing effort.
Stocklinski started game one, going four innings allowing two runs on six hits in the no-decision. Freshman Julia Nolan (Litchfield, N.H.) took the loss going two innings allowing two runs while striking out two.
Tomorrow, the Owls return home for a key Little East Conference doubleheader against the Warriors of Eastern Conn. State. The twinbill is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Owl Athletic Complex.