KEENE, N.H. - The Keene State College softball team hit a pair of home runs and set a new season-high for hits for the second time in three games while rebounding for a dominant 12-4 five-inning win over Plymouth State University on Tuesday afternoon at Owl Athletic Complex. The Panthers took the other of the LEC twinbill 11-2.
- Keene State: 10-16, 5-5 LEC
- Plymouth State: 13-13, 6-2 LEC
How It Happened - Game One
Plymouth State scored six runs in the first inning, added four more in the second and Keene State never recovered while sputtering to an 11-2 loss. Lauren Rousseau went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run batted in, while Courtney Votto also had a pair of hits in three at-bats. The Panthers recorded 14 hits in the contest, three each from Hannah Seidner and Madison Harris. Harris drove in four runs.
The game started on the wrong foot for the Owls, as a pair of miscues in the first three batters opened the door for a big PSU inning. Harris' two-run single got the Panthers on the board with a 2-0 lead, but the visitors were far from done, as Cassidy Emerson's double later in the frame made it a five-run advantage. Nora Butler's single up the middle capped the scoring and left KSC in a 6-0 hole. Molly St. Germain's double in the bottom half of the first was the Owls' only baserunner, and Plymouth added four more runs to the lead in the top of the second, as Harris and Emerson again drove in a pair of runs, doing so for the second consecutive inning. Trailing 11-0, Keene State did get on the board in the third with a pair of two-out runs, as Rousseau and Kylie Frank each singled, but could get no closer after that, leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth.
St. Germain pitched all five innings in the circle and fell to 5-8. Caitlyn Miller (9-6) allowed two runs to earn the win.
How It Happened - Game Two
The second game was a flipped script for the Owls, as KSC took a 4-0 lead and expanded it to 12-1 after exploding for eight runs in the fourth. Rousseau went 2-for-3 with a home run and four runs batted in. St. Germain added a two-run dinger, while Votto (3-3, 2 R), Meghan Moran (3-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R), Kat Iozzo (2-3, 2B, RBI, R), Paige Gouldthorpe (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI), and Frank (2-3, R) all had multiple hits in the blowout victory.
After starter Olivia McGrath put up a pair of zeroes, Keene State opened the scoring in the bottom of the second, as Moran singled with one out and was driven home by Iozzo's two-out double. That was only the beginning of the scoring for the Owls, as they were right back at it in the bottom of the third. St. Germain began the frame with a walk and Votto followed with a bunt single to move St. Germain to third. Two batters later, Rousseau cleared the bases with her second career home run, making it 4-0. Plymouth did get a run closer in the top of the fourth on a dropped fly with two outs, but were put out of the game quickly in the very next half inning, as KSC scored eight times on nine hits in their biggest inning of the season to end any suspense. Frank singled with one out and St. Germain followed with her second home run in the last four games to make it 6-1. That blast was just the second of ten consecutive Owls to reach base, nine of whom recorded a hit. By the time the damage was done, Keene State sent 12 batters to the plate and received a run-scoring single from Rousseau, a two-run double from Moran, and a bases-clearing two-bagger from Gouldthorpe for a 12-1 advantage after four. PSU scored three times in the fifth to set the final margin.
McGrath (3-3) allowed four runs (three earned) over five innings and got the win. Kayla Mathieu fell to 4-4 and followed up being part of Plymouth's no-hitter against UMass Dartmouth on Sunday by allowing nine hits and six runs over 3 1/3 innings.
Around the Horn
- Keene State has raised their team batting average to .303 on the season and, after hitting one home run in the first 22 games, has hit four in the last four. Eight Owls are now hitting over .300.
- KSC's 12 runs in the second game were the most Plymouth had allowed in a game this season.
- Since Wednesday's home doubleheader against Amherst College was cancelled, the Owls will next be in action on Saturday afternoon, April 20 when they visit Eastern Connecticut State University for a doubleheader that starts at 1:00 pm.
- Plymouth State entertains Rhode Island College on Thursday, April 18 for two games beginning at 3:00 pm.