DANBURY, Conn. – The Keene State College softball team and Western Connecticut State University exchanged shutouts on Saturday afternoon, with the Owls winning the opener 1-0 before the Colonials took the second game 5-0 at Westside Field.
- Keene State: 6-14, 2-4 LEC
- Western Connecticut: 6-17-1, 1-3 LEC
How It Happened – Game One
Keene State scored in the top of the first and that proved to be all the support starter Molly St. Germain (4-7) would need, as she struck out eight in a complete game shutout. Shae Crosby went 3-for-3 at the plate and scored a run, while Brooke Arruda went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Kristin Boduch, JoEllen Racicot, Brittany DaMota and Julie Elwell also recorded hits.
Boduch opened the game with a base hit to right and moved up on Crosby's bunt single as the Owls generated an immediate scoring opportunity. After St. Germain bounced into a fielder's choice, Olivia Indorf worked a walk to load the bases for KSC. Arruda's grounder to second plated a run, giving the Owls a 1-0 lead. Keene State had a chance for more, but could not push any more across in the frame.
The Colonials put two on in the bottom half of the first when Tori Dugan reached on a bunt single and Natalia Hart was hit by a pitch with one out, but St. Germain got two popouts to strand the runners.
Western Connecticut continued to mount threats, but remained unable to plate any runs off St. Germain. The Colonials loaded the bases in the third on an error, walk and fielder's choice, but Sofia Palacios' comebacker was fielded by St. Germain, who came home to cut down the run. She then got Kayla Nowak looking to end the frame as the Owls maintained the 1-0 advantage. In the fourth, WCSU got a double from Sara Tenke and a single from Nichole Bonanni with one out, but a fielder's choice again cut down the runner at home and a grounder ended the inning.
KSC had an opportunity to extend the lead in their half of the sixth when Arruda and pinch-hitter Racicot led off the inning with back-to-back singles, but the Owls were unable to advance either runner any further. St. Germain remained in control, though, getting two strikeouts in both the fifth and sixth innings before breezing through a 1-2-3 seventh, getting two groundouts before striking out Erica Bower to end the game.
How It Happened – Game Two
Western Connecticut turned the tables and managed a split behind a complete game shutout from Angelina Miller (3-6). KSC had four hits in the contest, one each from Boduch, Arruda, Alexis Blanchette and Brittany DaMota.
Neither team could manage much offense in the early going. KSC got a leadoff single from Boduch to start the game but the next three went down in order. The Colonials managed a two-out base hit of their own in the bottom of the first, but nothing else against Owls' starter Olivia McGrath (1-5). A bigger WCSU threat came in the second, when two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out. However, KSC was able to get out of it, as Jenna Gaudioso bounced into a fielder's choice that got the runner at home and Palacios hit a grounder back to McGrath, keeping the game scoreless.
Western broke through with a three-spot in the third. Tenke started the frame with a single and Natalia Hart followed with a double to put two in scoring position. Charline Plasczynski brought pinch-runner Alyssa Barcomb home with a ground ball single to right as the Colonials struck first. Issie Pratt replaced McGrath for KSC and struck out Bower swinging for the first out, but a fielder's choice and a two-out double from Annie Rosa put WCSU up 3-0.
Keene State tried to answer, putting a runner in scoring position in the top of the fourth on Arruda's two-out double to right, but nothing further came of that inning. DaMota singled and advanced to second on an error with two outs in the fifth, but a pop up ended the frame. Western Connecticut added to the lead in their half of that same inning when a sac fly from Gaudioso plated a run and Dugan's bunt single made it 5-0.
The Owls were unable to mount anything after that, as they went down 1-2-3 in each of the final two innings against Miller, who completed the shutout.
McGrath went two-plus innings for KSC in the circle before Pratt tossed the next three and St. Germain contributed a scoreless inning with a strikeout.
Around the Horn
- St. Germain, who has allowed one run or fewer in each of her last four appearances in the circle, needs just one more strikeout to be alone in tenth on the all-time KSC list. She currently has 212, tied with Missy Zimmerman '03, and is just 12 strikeouts away from eighth on the all-time list.
- With three hits in the first game, Crosby is now hitting a team-leading .359 on the season. She has had seven multiple-hit games thus far this year.
- Arruda's appearance in the first game was her first since the season opener against Framingham State on March 12.
- Keene State will finally play their first home games of the year, as they will host Plymouth State on Tuesday, April 17 for a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 pm.
- Western Connecticut travels to Eastern Connecticut on the same day for an LEC twin bill that starts at 5:00 pm.