KEENE, N.H.--Throughout the summer months, the Keene State College Department of Athletics and Recreation will be looking back at some of the top moments and milestones of the 2016-17 academic year.
At No. 10, we examine Kayla Votto's penchant for delivering or scoring winning runs in the later part of games. In a span of 11 days, Votto drove in or scored the winning run four times to give the Owls some key Little East Conference victories.
The streak started on the road in a doubleheader opener against UMass Boston on April 18. After the Beacons had forced extra innings with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, the teams traded scoreless frames in the eighth.
Shae Crosby led off with an infield single to open the ninth inning, and took second on Kristin Boduch's RBI single. Pinch-hitter Brooke Arruda moved Crosby over on a flyout to left, setting the stage for Votto's sacrifice fly that brought in Crosby with the go-ahead run. Molly St. Germain set the Beacons down in order in the bottom half to give the Owls a 4-3 win.
The heroics continued against Western Connecticut State at Owl Athletic Complex on April 23. Keene State had rallied to tie the game in the fifth on an RBI single by Olivia Indorf, and a two-run homer by Aliza Guerrero. Heading to extras again, the Owls got a Brittany DaMota single to start proceedings. Boduch reached on an infield hit to move her into scoring position, before Votto rapped a single to center to give Keene State a 7-6 victory.
Back on the road against Plymouth State on April 27, the Owls let a 3-0 lead slip when the Panthers put up three runs in the bottom of the fourth. It remained 3-3 until the top of the seventh, when Votto and Molly St. Germain led off with back-to-back singles. Crosby came up and stroked a single to left-center that brought Votto around with what proved to be the go-ahead run. St. Germain again set down the Panthers as the Owls took a 4-3 win.
The final win was the most dramatic, with Keene State needing at least a split against UMass Dartmouth to clinch a spot in the Little East Conference tournament. The Owls had taken a 1-0 lead on a solo homer by St. Germain in the bottom of the first, but tied the game in the fifth when McKenzie Joyce scored on a wild pitch. Stuck at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Corsairs set down the first two Owls of the inning, but Votto cranked a solo home run to center field as Keene State walked off with another one run win.