Votto's Walkoff Powers Owls To Split With UMass Dartmouth

Kayla Votto (5) had a walk-off homer in game one.
Kayla Votto (5) had a walk-off homer in game one.

KEENE, N.H.--Senior second baseman Kayla Votto cranked a solo home run to straight away center in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Keene State College softball team a 2-1 win over UMass Dartmouth in the opener of a Little East Conference doubleheader at Owl Athletic Complex on Saturday.  The Corsairs took the second game, 8-5, in nine innings.

Records

  • Keene State: 16-18, 7-7 LEC
  • UMass Dartmouth: 18-17, 5-7 LEC

How it Happened - Game One

Molly St. Germain (13-7) tossed a five hitter, striking out seven as the Owls got just enough offense to win.

St. Germain supported her own cause by staking the Owls to a 1-0 lead with a solo home run over the left-field fence in the bottom of the first.   The sophomore hurler then kept the Corsairs largely off the basepaths, getting out of trouble by getting Cierra Shireen to ground into a 1-6-3 double-play to end the fourth.

The Corsairs tied it in the fifth when Lexi Pereira led off with a double to right, and moved to third on Brittany Polk's sacrifice bunt.  Pinch-runner McKenzie Joyce then scored on a wild pitch.

The game looked to be headed to extras, but Votto, who drove in the winning runs against both UMass Boston and Western Connecticut in extra innings, prevented another game from going long by rocketing her first home run of the year to centerfield to give the Owls the win.

Votto and St. Germain each had two hits for the Owls, while Brittany DaMota had the other.

How it Happened - Game Two

The Owls rallied twice to tie the game, but could not complete the sweep.  UMass Dartmouth had opened the scoring on an RBI single by Polk in the top of the second, and made it 4-0 on a three-run homer off the bat of Marissa Spinuzzi in the third.

It remained 4-0 until the bottom of the sixth, as St. Germain and Shae Crosby singled to set the table for Olivia Indorf, who got the Owls on the board with a single up the middle.  Brooke Arruda followed with a single to center that made it 4-2, and JoEllen Racicot delivered a key 2-RBI single that tied the game.

UMass Dartmouth went back in front in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Spinuzzi, but the Owls forced extras when St. Germain walked, moved to second on Indorf's single, and slid in just under the tag of catcher Gracie Trudeau on Arruda's sharp single to left.

The Corsairs took the lead for took in the ninth, as Maxine Vincent and Emily Colton singled, and Spinuzzi hit her second three-run homer of the game off the scoreboard in left-center that made it 8-5.

St. Germain and Crosby both walked with one out in the bottom of the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate, but Indorf popped out to second base and Arruda flew out to left to end the game.

St. Germain (13-8) was tagged with the loss, striking out six while going all nine innings.

Playoff Permutations

  • The Owls will have to wait until Sunday to find out their final playoff positioning.  Western Connecticut State hosts Eastern Connecticut State and UMass Dartmouth hosts Southern Maine in makeup doubleheaders that will have bearing on where Keene State finishes.
  • The best the Owls can do is the No. 4 seed, needing the Colonials to sweep the Warriors, and the Corsairs to take two from the Huskies.  This would create a three way tie with Keene State, UMass Dartmouth, and Southern Maine, all with 7-7 records.  Southern Maine would be removed from the tiebreaker due to two losses to UMD, and Keene State would have the tiebreaker over UMass Dartmouth because of a better head-to-head record against Western Connecticut State.

Up Next

  • The Owls will play in the opening game of the LEC tournament at a site to be determined on Tuesday, May 2.
  • UMass Dartmouth ends the regular season by hosting the University of Southern Maine on Sunday, April 30, at 1 p.m.