Western New England Opens CCC Tournament with Wins over Nichols (3-1) & Eastern Nazarene (2-1)

Sophomore Tori Fisher drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the sixth inning against Eastern Nazarene on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Sophomore Tori Fisher drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the sixth inning against Eastern Nazarene on Saturday. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Golden Bears will play top-seeded Endicott next Friday (5/4) at 4 p.m.

QUINCY, Mass. (April 28, 2018) –
The third-seeded Western New England University softball team opened the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament with wins over seventh-seeded Nichols College and second-seeded Eastern Nazarene College on Saturday at Mitchell/McCoy Field. The Golden Bears defeated Nichols 3-1 in their first contest of the day, before knocking off the Lions 2-1 in the nightcap. 

WNE 3, Nichols 1

Top Performers
• Senior Jenn Luba (Plymouth, Conn.) powered the Golden Bears in the opener, as she went 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, a home run and two RBI.
• Sophomore Sydney Pounds (Milford, Mass.) reached base three times with a walk and two singles, while classmate Mallory Donelan (Mineola, N.Y.) singled and drove in a run.
• Sophomore Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) earned the win (11-8) in the circle after striking out five batters and allowing two hits over five shutout innings.

• Nichols senior Kendall Meehan (Danvers, Mass.) went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run, while sophomore Cara Mayhew (Brooklyn, Conn.) recorded an RBI double.

Game Review
Western New England claimed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as freshman Allie Buzzeo (Stamford, Conn.) led off with a walk before advancing to second on a sacrifice and scoring on an RBI double to left field by Luba.

The Golden Bears doubled their advantage in the bottom of the third, when Luba hit a one-out, solo homer over the fence in left center field.

Nichols broke through in the top of the sixth, as Meehan walked with one out before scoring on Mayhew's RBI double to left field. Western New England restored its two-run edge in the bottom half of the inning, however, when Donelan produced an RBI single to left field.

Uliase, who pitched the first four innings before giving way to classmate Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) for the fifth and sixth, came back on for the seventh and retired the side in order to seal the win for the Golden Bears.

WNE 2, Eastern Nazarene 1

Top Performers
• Luba and Donelan again led the Golden Bears at the plate, as Luba went 2-for-3 with a walk and one run scored, while Donelan posted a 2-for-4 effort with one RBI.
• Sophomore Tori Fisher (Poestenkill, N.Y.) drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the sixth inning.  
• Uliase got the start in the circle again and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out five batters to improve to 12-8.

• Eastern Nazarene sophomore pitcher Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) took the loss (15-5) after striking out seven batters and surrendering two runs (one earned) on eight hits over seven innings.
• Junior catcher Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) went 1-for-3 with a double and one RBI.

Game Review
After stranding a pair of runners on base in the second inning, the Golden Bears opened the scoring in the top of the third. 

Pounds led off with a bunt single, before advancing all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt. Donelan came up next and delivered an RBI single to left center, allowing Pounds to cross the plate.

Eastern Nazarene tied the contest in the bottom of the fourth, as freshman Dominique Santos (Lancaster, Calif.) led off with a double down the left field line and scored three batters later on a two-out double to right center by Clements.

Western New England manufactured the go-ahead run in the top of the sixth. Luba got it started with a single to left field, before advancing to second and third with the help of an error and a fielder's choice, respectively. Fisher came up with runners on first and third and delivered an RBI single down the right field line, which proved to be the difference in the contest.

Uliase retired the final six batters she faced in order in the sixth and seventh innings to complete Western New England's 2-0 day.  

Up Next
The Golden Bears (22-16) will face top-seeded Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. when the CCC Tournament resumes next Friday, May 4th. Nichols (15-18-1) and Eastern Nazarene (26-11) will take on Gordon and Salve Regina, respectively.