SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – April 21, 2008 -- Jessica Hillman and Michelle Wlosek hit back-to-back home runs and Katie Anderson pitched a complete-game victory to lead the Springfield College softball team to a 10-2 victory over Keene State in the second game of a non-conference doubleheader this afternoon at SC's Potter Field. Keene State won the first game, 4-2.
With the split, Springfield is now 24-14 overall, while Keene State is 19-9.
Keene State was the winner of game #1. Junior DP Katie Allenson (Clifton Park, N.Y.) was the difference in that contest. She hit two home runs, including a two-run shot in the first inning, giving the Owls a 2-0 lead, and a solo job in the sixth which extended Keene State's lead to 4-2. Allenson was 2-for-3 in game #1 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI's.
Keene State took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth when senior shortstop Colleen Ferguson (Sussex, N.J.) walked, and then scored on a double by senior 1B Kaity Conklin (Selkirk, N.Y.).
Springfield countered twice in the bottom of the fourth on RBI-singles by Wlosek, a sophomore catcher from Nutley, N.J., and by sophomore shortstop Jaimie Moran (Manchester, Conn.).
Freshman righthander Sarah Pongratz (Winchester, Mass.) took the loss for the home team, despite giving up just four hits. She struck out four and walked three. Senior righthander Ashlee Nicholson (Swanzey, N.H.) was the victor, allowing just one earned run and seven hits in seven innings of work. She struck out five and walked none. For the Pride, junior Danielle Spiro (South Windsor, Conn.) went 2-for-3.
In game #2, Springfield led all the way in winning, 10-2. The game was mercied after 4 and 1/2 innings. Springfield scored five runs in the first inning on four hits, a walk, and two big errors. After one was out, junior CF Angie Atkins (East Haddam, Conn.) singled. Hillman, a freshman first baseman from Seymour, Conn., then doubled. Atkins then scored the game's first run on a wild pitch. After the bases were loaded on a walk and a single, Moran singled in the second run. After a force out at the plate for the second out, two runs scored on an error by the shortstop. Then another scored on a dropped pop-up by the second baseman.
The Pride scored five more in the third. Sophomore RF Caitlin Corry (Seekonk, Mass.) led the inning with a single. She was sacrificed to second. Then SC exploded for four consecutive hits, beginning with a single by senior 2B Denise Fumicello (Brockton, Mass.) and an RBI-single by Atkins. Hillman then powered a three-run home run to left-center, giving Springfield a 9-0 lead. And that was followed by a shot to left by Wlosek, her 8th of the season. And Springfield led 10-0.
Keene State had threatened, but was not able to cash in until the fifth inning. Anderson, a freshman from Andover, Mass., was hurling a shutout until there were two outs in the inning. Then, with the bases loaded on two walks and a hit batter, sophomore catcher Stephanie Lavado (Wallingford, Conn.) singled for one run. Moments later, a second run scored on an error, cutting it to 10-2. Another run would have extended the game, but Anderson induced a pop-up for the final out.
Anderson allowed five hits in her five innings of work. She struck out three and walked six. Atkins, Hillman, and Wlosek all had two hits apiece for the Pride. As a team, Springfield finished with 10 hits.
Springfield chose not to pitch junior lefthander Samantha Rhodes (Mendon, Mass.) who had won four conference games in less than a 24-hour period over the weekend. Rhodes, now 17-4, winner of 10 straight decisions, and who had beaten Babson twice on Friday and MIT twice on Saturday, will be the likely starter when #3-seeded Springfield plays #6-seeded Smith on Wednesday in a first-round NEWMAC game at Wheaton College at 2:30 pm. If Springfield can win that game, it will play #2-seeded Wheaton immediately following the contest versus Smith. The NEWMAC Tourney is a double-elimination format.