Worcester, Mass. - March 24, 2012 - Visiting Springfield College received a pair of dominating pitching performances, including a game one no-hitter and the Pride swept a twinbill over Clark University by two 4-0 scores on Saturday afternoon in New England Women’s And Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) softball action.
The doubleheader sweep by Springfield pushes their record to 8-4 overall and 2-0 in league play, while the Cougars see their season-best three-game win streak come to an end and now sit at 8-6 and 0-2 in conference play.
Ashley Marino was dazzling in the opener, retiring the first 16 batters she faced until pinch hitter Heather Figula drew a one-out walk in the sixth. Undeterred, Marino struck out both Maureen Coakley and Maya Allen to end the inning. The Pride took an early lead getting an RBI single in the first from Kelly Blake and a run scoring single from Kasey Kelley in the second.
Then in the seventh, Breann Joyce swatted a two-run homerun to give Springfield some breathing room.
Clark looked as if it would avoid being no hit in the bottom of the seventh when, with one out, Erin Murphy sent a liner to the right of second base that Kelly snared with a full extension dive to preserve the pitching performance. Marino then got Shawna Amatucci to groundout to third to seal the win.
It was Springfield's first no-hitter since Samantha Rhodes accomplished the feat on April 7, 2008 in a 10-0 win over Smith.
Game two started off in similar fashion as Springfield starter Jennifer Joseph held the Cougars without a hit through the first three innings.
Meanwhile, the Pride offense took advantage of a couple of Clark errors to take a 3-0 edge. After Blake singled deep into the whole at short, she moved to second on a throwing error. Joyce then tripled to right and came around to score on an errant relay throw to third. Springfield then added another run on an RBI double by Amy Entel.
Clark finally recorded a hit in the bottom of the fourth when Mel Melkonian singled to right and then picked up base hits in the fifth on a Stefanie Kettenacker base hit and in the sixth on a Murphy single.
Joseph, the reigning NEWMAC Pitcher of the Week, then struck out the side in the seventh to pick up the win. Springfield will resume play on Tuesday when it travels for a doubleheader at Keene State beginning at 3:30 pm.