Keene State softball sweeps Western Conn. 4-2 and 8-4
KEENE, N.H. 4/14/12 – The Keene State College softball team picked up its first two Little East Conference wins of the season, sweeping a doubleheader 4-2 and 8-4 over Western Conn. State at Owl Athletic Complex on Saturday.
Ranked eighth in New England, the Owls improve to 14-4 (2-2 LEC). Western Conn., ranked fifth in New England, falls to 17-7 (1-3 LEC).
The Owls won the opener 4-2 in dramatic fashion on junior Nichole Dupuis' (Fitchburg, Mass.) walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the second game, KSC scored three runs in the bottom of the first on the way to an 8-4 victory.
The first game was a pitching duel between a pair of senior pitchers with the Owls' Sara Stocklinski (Newton, N.J.) and the Colonials' Magen Dargon (Trumbull, Conn.) tossing shutout ball through five innings.
The Colonials finally got to Stocklinski for two runs in the top of the sixth inning with Dargon helping herself with a double down the right field line that scored both runs.
Senior Katie Bradford (Lebanon, N.H.) started KSC's rally in the seventh with a lead-off single down the right field line. Stocklinski doubled to left center to bring Bradford home for the Owls' first run. After senior Laura Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) reached on an error, Dupuis lined a shot just over the fence in left field to give the Owls the win. "I was sitting on a change-up all game. My second at bat I just missed it and I knew the third at bat it was coming, so I just sat on it," said Dupuis about her game-winning home run. "I was a little in front, but still got the job done. It was awesome it was like winning the World Series."
It was the second home run of the season for Dupuis, who had two of the Owls' four hits in the game.
Stocklinski got the complete game win, improving her record to 6-1. She gave up two runs on three hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
Dargon had a strong outing in the circle for WCSU, allowing four runs on four hits with 12 strikeouts.
KSC didn't waste any time in the second game jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first. Senior Haley Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) opened the game with a double, moved to second on a single by Bradford and scored on a ground out. Junior Kayla Joyce (Bridgewater, Mass.) had a RBI double later in the inning.
Junior Jessica Fiorenza (Wakefield, Mass.) added to the Owls lead in the fourth with a two-run double down the right field line to make it 5-0.
In the fifth, Stocklinski doubled and scored on Dupuis' sacrifice fly, putting the Owls up 6-0.
The Colonials scored two runs in the top of the sixth on grounds out by senior pinch hitter Melissa Fracker (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and freshman Julia Bocek (Southington, Conn.). The Owls got the two runs back in the bottom of the inning on RBI double by Fiorenza and Bradford's run-scoring single to center.
Senior Danielle Basciano (Holmes, N.Y.) hit a two-run home run for WSCU in the top of the seventh.
"After we came back to win the first game our confidence was high and we knew it was important to win the second game," said Fiorenza had two hits and two RBIs for KSC in the nightcap. "We came out, swung the bats, made some good contact, and once we got rolling everyone pulled together. This is a huge confidence boost for us. It shows the level we can compete at and we belong with the top teams in the conference."
Haley Chandler, Bradford, and Joyce each had two hits for Keene State.
Basciano had two of the Colonials' four hits in the game.
Senior Emily Albin (Bethel, Conn.), now 5-2 on the season, pitched six strong innings for the owls, giving up four runs on four hits while fanning two and walking three batters. Senior Samantha Pratt (Bristol, Conn.) tossed a scoreless seventh inning.
Sophomore Stephanie Moss (Brookfield, Conn.) took the loss for the Colonials, dropping her record to 4-4. She gave up eight runs on 10 hits while striking out five and issuing one walk.
Keene State will be right back at Owl Athletic Complex on Sunday, taking on Williams College in a non-conference doubleheader starting at noon.
Western Conn. will also be in action on Sunday, hosting New Paltz in a noon twinbill.