WILLIMANTIC, Conn., March 28, 2007 - Springfield College sophomore Loni Rodriguez (Westfield, Mass.) went 2-fo-6 with three runs batted in (RBI) as the Pride erased an early 6-0 deficit to come from behind and defeat the Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) in game one, 9-7, in a non-conference doubleheader this afternoon at Howard Spector Field. In game two, ECSU picked up the split with a 4-2 victory.Eastern (8-4) couldn’t hold a 6-0 lead after two innings of the opener as SC (5-7) scored the tying run with a home run from junior Denise Fumicello (Brockton, Mass.) with one out in the top of the seventh inning. The Pride then won it by scoring three times on three hits, a walk, and two Eastern errors in the top of the ninth inning for the 9-7 decision.
Trailing 2-0 in the second game, Eastern scored four times on three hits, two walks, and an SC error in the sixth inning to take a 4-2 decision. The Warriors rode the complete-game eight-hit effort of sophomore righty Lisa Cody in the second-game win. Cody, limited to 12 1/3 innings a year ago, won her third game in as many starts and remained perfect this year (4-0) and in her career (5-0). She fanned six and walked two.
Cody was involved in a scoreless dual with Pride sophomore lefty Samantha Rhodes (Mendon, Mass.) before the Pride scored twice in the sixth on a two-out single by sophomore Angela Atkins (East Haddam, Conn.).
The Warriors staged their winning rally in the sixth inning of the second game, sending ten batters to the plate. Freshman Kim Church drove in the first run with an infield single to the left side. With the bases loaded and one out, sophomore pinch runner Courtney Caswell beat the throw to the plate on sophomore Rachel Denny’s ground ball to the left side. No. 9 hitter Casey Mahoney then drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the go-ahead run, and junior SC transfer Kate Livingston made it 4-2 when she scored from third on a single by late-inning replacement Ashley Marchitto.
In the opener, Eastern scored six runs on eight hits in its first two at-bats, but was held to just five hits over the final seven innings by winning pitcher Stephanie Blackman (Stamford, Conn.), who improves to 3-3 on the year with the victory. The Pride chipped away by scoring five runs in the middle innings and tying the game on a one-out solo home run to center by leadoff hitter Denise Fumicello. Two of SC's three runs in the ninth were unearned against losing pitcher Katie Pensiero.
Four Eastern players had three hits on the day: Church, freshman Samantha Vara, and seniors Nikki Vachon and Karen Taber. Senior Leigha Abair drove in three runs and scored three. Abair helped Eastern score its six early runs in game one with a two-run home run in the first and an RBI double in the second. She also scored in the second.
SC sophomore Loni Rodriguez drove in three runs in the first game for the Pride with two hits. Freshman cleanup hitter Michelle Wlosek (Nutley, N.J.) had two hits in each game. She reached safely four times in the first game with a triple and three walks.
The Pride will next face New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) foe Coast Guard on Friday afternoon, March 30th, in SC's home openers beginning at 2:30 p.m.