Golden Bears Break Out in Game Two to Salvage Split with Nichols

Junior Jenn Luba recorded three hits and four RBI during Western New England's doubleheader split with Nichols on Thursday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Junior Jenn Luba recorded three hits and four RBI during Western New England's doubleheader split with Nichols on Thursday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Western New England notches 20th victory of 2017 campaign

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 20, 2017) – The Western New England University softball team broke out offensively in game two of a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) doubleheader against Nichols College to salvage a split with the Bison on Thursday afternoon at Golden Bear Park. Western New England was limited to three hits in a 5-2, game one loss, before rolling to a 10-0, five-inning triumph in game two.

Nichols 5, Western New England 2

Top Performers                                                                                                          
• Senior Katie Wood (Westport, Mass.) accounted for one of Western New England's three hits in the opener and drove in both of the team's runs with a single in the bottom of the fourth inning.
• Senior Gabby Lavinio (Dalton, Mass.) and junior Jenn Luba (Plymouth, Conn.) also had one hit each for the Golden Bears.

• Freshman Alexis Ferris (Holyoke, Mass.) was impressive in the circle for the Bison, striking out five batters and allowing just two runs on three hits over a complete game performance.
• Junior Kendall Meehan (Danvers, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI, while sophomore Callie Andrews (Southbridge, Mass.) posted a 3-for-3 effort and senior Christina Drake (Lebanon, N.H.) drove in two runs.

Game Review
• Sophomore Jessica Kuelling (Gales Ferry, Conn.) staked Nichols to a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the first, and the Bison claimed a 3-0 advantage the following inning on a two-run single to center field by Drake.
• The visitors tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth, the second of which scored on an RBI single by Meehan.
• Western New England got back into the game in the bottom half of the inning, as Wood recorded a two-out, two-run single to center field to cut the Golden Bears' deficit to 5-2, but they would get no closer.
• Ferris surrendered just one hit the rest of the way as the Bison held on for the game one win.

Western New England 10, Nichols 0 (5 Innings)

Top Performers                                                                                                          
• Freshman Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) powered Western New England's offensive surge in game two, as she went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Luba also homered as part of a 2-for-2 effort with four RBI, while sophomore Giovanna Russo (East Haven, Conn.) recorded a two-run double.
• Freshman pitcher Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) got the start and improved to 8-2 this season after allowing just one hit over four innings of work.

Game Review
• Western New England jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Kistner, an RBI groundout by Uliase, and a two-run double to left field off the bat of Russo.
• Kistner and Luba both belted two-run homers in the bottom of the second as the Golden Bears doubled their advantage.
• A two-run single by Luba in the fourth extended Western New England's lead to 10-0.
• Senior Samantha DiGiovanni (Shirley, N.Y.) came on in relief of Uliase in the fifth and closed the door on the Bison to seal the win for the Golden Bears.

Notes
• Luba went a combined 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI over the two games.
• Western New England's game two win marks the 20th victory of the season for the Golden Bears. The program has won 20+ games in each of the last five seasons and 17 of the last 18 overall.

Up Next
Western New England (20-8, 10-4 CCC) hosts Roger Williams for a key CCC doubleheader on Saturday at noon in a battle of two teams tied for second place in the conference standings. The Golden Bears will recognize their five seniors prior to the start of the contest. Nichols (13-14, 5-9 CCC) returns home to host Gordon on Monday.