KEENE, N.H.--The Keene State College softball team was eliminated from the Little East Conference tournament with a pair of losses on Saturday at Owl Athletic Complex. The top seed Owls fell to Western Connecticut State, 4-3, in eight innings, then dropped a 1-0 decision to UMass Boston in a must-win game.
- Keene State: 22-16
- Western Conn. State: 22-17
- UMass Boston: 22-18
- The Owls will have to wait to see if their season continues. KSC was ranked seventh in the final NCAA New England Regional poll, and will find out if they have earned an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament when selections are revealed on Monday at 1 p.m.
- The No. 5 seed Beacons and No. 4 seed Colonials will play at 11 a.m. for the conference championship. If Western Conn. State wins, the title goes to Danbury, while the Beacons must win to force a winner-take-all game later that day.
How It Happened - Western Connecticut State
- Michaela Roche hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning to give the Colonials a 4-3 win. Keene State had battled back twice to to tie, and had the winning run on first in the bottom of the inning, but could not bring in the runs that would have sent the Owls to the championship game.
- WCSU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Alle Sabith homered over the left field fence. Keene State had a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the inning, but Shae Crosby grounded out to end the threat.
- KSC tied it in the fourth inning, as Jen Galavotti hit a one-out double to right center, moved to third on an error, and scored on a fielder's choice, sliding in under the tag. The bases remained loaded for Kristin Boduch, who hit into another fielder's choice, but WCSU third baseman Maegan Rodriguez threw home to cut down Olivia Indorf.
- The Colonials went back in front with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Rodriguez hit a solo homer to left field for a 2-1 lead, and Candace Lawrence singled and eventually came around on an error.
- Keene State rallied in the sixth, starting with a one-out walk from Brittany DaMota. Boduch's groundout moved her to second, and Stephanie Long smoked a double off the fence in left center to rbing her around. Kayla Votto beat out an infield single, and an error on WCSU first baseman Kayla Nowak allowed long to score.
- In the eighth inning, Jenna Gaudioso reached on a bunt single, and went to third on Erin Weber's double to left-center. Roche's fly ball to left was just deep enough to bring Gaudioso home. The Owls got a single from Long with two out in the eighth, and Votto reached on an error to move her into scoring position, but Heather Pelletier grounded out to end the game.
- Mariah Crisp struck out seven for the Owls, allowing eight hits and four runs (three earned) to fall to 15-7. Sabith earned the win (10-6) with 2.1 innings of three hit relief.
How It Happened - UMass Boston
- The Beacons got the only run of the game in the first inning, then rode a strong pitching performance from Annie Thomas to reach the championship game.
- Kaitlyn Morse led off the contest with a walk and was sacrificed to second by Kristina Bove. Roxy Vento got UMB on the board with a single to left field.
- That was all Thomas needed, as the freshman shut down the KSC offense that had lit up UMass Boston for 22 runs over two games on April 29. The Owls did not get a runner to third base until the sixth inning, and were limited to just four hits overall.
- KSC's best chance came in the sixth, when Pelletier hit a one-out double, and moved over to third on Fallon's groundout. After Galavotti walked, Indorf grounded out to third to end the inning.
- Shae Crosby led off the seventh with a single to left, but Thomas shut the door, striking out DaMota and Boduch, and getting Long to foul out to Vento behind the plate, ending the game.
- Crisp (15-8) went the first inning, striking out two, including the 700th batter of her career. Molly St. Germain went the final six innings, striking out two and scattering five hits. Thomas (13-9) finished with six strikeouts for UMass Boston.