Golden Bears await winner of Endicott/Eastern Nazarene matchup on Saturday
BEVERLY, Mass. (May 4, 2018) – The Western New England University softball team rallied to earn a 2-1, extra-inning victory over Endicott College in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament action on Friday afternoon.
With the win, the Golden Bears (23-16) remain unbeaten in the CCC Tournament and advance to Saturday's action needing just one more victory to claim the program's second CCC title. Endicott (29-5) will play Eastern Nazarene College on Saturday morning at 11 a.m., and the winner of that contest would need to defeat Western New England twice to capture the conference crown.
• Sophomore pitcher Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) continued her dominant postseason stretch, as she earned the win (13-8) after striking out seven batters and surrendering just one run over eight innings.
• Sophomore Carlie Moss (Delmar, N.Y.) was the offensive hero for the Golden Bears, as she went 1-for-1 at the plate and drove in both of Western New England's runs.
• Freshman Cassidy Howe (North Andover, Mass.) posted a 2-for-3 effort, while freshman Alex Desrochers (Pittsfield, Mass.) scored the game-winning run.
• Endicott was led by junior Jamie Hopgood (Warwick, R.I.), who walked, doubled twice and drove in a run.
• Graduate student Lindsee Allienello (East Providence, R.I.) and junior Olivia Odermatt (Cheshire, Conn.) also recorded two hits each for the Gulls.
• Sophomore Maggie Oram (Lexinton, Mass.) was solid in the circle, striking out seven batters and allowing two runs over eight innings.
Endicott claimed an early lead, as Allienello led off the bottom of the first inning with an infield single, before moving up to second base on a sacrifice and scoring on Hopgood's RBI double to left field.
Sophomore Sydney Pounds (Milford, Mass.) recorded Western New England's first hit of the contest with a bunt single in the third inning, but the Golden Bears went down in order in the fourth and fifth.
The visitors finally broke through for the game-tying run in the sixth. Howe got it started with a leadoff double, and a sacrifice by Pounds advanced her to third base. Moss came up next as a pinch hitter and lifted a fly ball to left field, allowing pinch-runner Jen Zazzarino (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) to score from third on a sacrifice fly.
After Uliase escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, the Golden Bears were able to plate the go-ahead run in the eighth. Uliase helped her own cause with a leadoff single, before Desrochers replaced her as a pinch-runner. Howe followed with a single up the middle, and both runners advanced on a sacrifice by Pounds. Moss came up next and gave the Golden Bears a 2-1 edge when she beat out an infield single, allowing Desrochers to score.
Uliase worked around a two-out double by Odermatt in the eighth to seal the win for the Golden Bears.
• In Western New England's three CCC Tournament games, Uliase has struck out 16 batters and allowed just two earned runs in 20 innings of work.
• When play resumes on Saturday, the Golden Bears will be seeking their second CCC title and first since 2015. Western New England has won six conference championships overall (5 GNAC, 1 CCC) and appeared in the NCAA Tournament six times.