Western New England Splits with Salve Regina on Senior Day

Western New England honored seniors Ashley Rivest and Giovanna Russo before the start of Saturday's doubleheader against Salve Regina. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)
Western New England honored seniors Ashley Rivest and Giovanna Russo before the start of Saturday's doubleheader against Salve Regina. (Photo by Rachael Margossian)

Golden Bears respond with 11-3 triumph in game two after dropping opener 5-3

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 13, 2019) – The Western New England University softball team split a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) doubleheader with Salve Regina University on Saturday afternoon at Golden Bear Park.

After falling 5-3 in the opener, the Golden Bears responded with an 11-3 triumph in game two.

Before the start of the contest, Western New England honored seniors Giovanna Russo (East Haven, Conn.) and Ashley Rivest (Chicopee, Mass.) for their contributions to the softball program.

Salve Regina 5, Western New England 3

Top Performers
Juniors Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) and Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) paced the Golden Bears offensively in the opener, as Kistner went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored, and Uliase posted a 2-for-2 effort with a walk, a double, one RBI and one run scored.

The top three players in Salve Regina's batting order accounted for seven of the Seahawks' 11 hits. Senior Lindsey Florent (New Bedford, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with two runs out of the leadoff spot, while junior Maddie Machado (Westport, Mass.) also turned in a 2-for-4 performance with a home run and three RBI. Senior Amanda Riley (Barrington, N.H.) finished with a game-high three hits, all singles, and knocked in one run.

Game Review
Salve took an early lead as Florent led off the top of the first with an infield single, before coming around to score on an RBI single to center by Riley.

The Golden Bears tied it up in the bottom of the second via an RBI single up the middle by junior Carlie Moss (Delmar, N.Y.), but the Seahawks plated single runs in the top of the third and fourth innings to take a 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Golden Bears cut their deficit to one (3-2) as Kistner led off with a double and three batters later, Uliase came through with a two-out RBI single to right center.

Western New England then tied the score in the bottom of the sixth. Kistner again got it started with a leadoff double to right field, and freshman Jamie Cookingham (Warner, N.H.) drove her in with a single to right field two batters later.

In the top of the seventh, however, Machado delivered the game-winning hit for the visitors with a two-run single to left field that stood as the difference in the contest.

Western New England 11, Salve Regina 3 (6 Innings)

Top Performers
Western New England utilized a balanced offensive performance in game two to earn a split, as nine different players drove in a run. Sophomores Madison Murabito (Liverpool, N.Y.) and Emilie Decker (Pattersonville, N.Y.) both homered, while Cookingham and Uliase both went 3-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored.

Kistner was solid in the circle, striking out two batters and surrendering three earned runs over six innings to improve to 9-3 this season.

Salve Regina was led by freshman Nikki Vanelli (Quakertown, Pa.), who went 2-for-3 with one RBI.

Game Review
Salve Regina again took a first-inning lead, as Riley hit a solo homer to put the Seahawks in front.

After the visitors went up 2-0 in the top of the second, Western New England tied the contest in the bottom half of the inning on a two-run shot off the bat of Decker.

The visitors briefly regained the lead in the third, as Vanelli recorded an RBI single to left field to make it 3-2, but the Golden Bears erupted for six runs on five hits in the bottom of the third to pull ahead for good. Freshman Dina DiBlasio (Norwalk, Conn.) drove in the first run of the inning for WNE, while Cookingham, sophomore Allie Buzzeo (Stamford, Conn.), Russo, sophomore Emily Cooney (Berlin, Conn.) and Kistner all added one RBI as Western New England took an 8-3 lead.

The Golden Bears weren't done, as they tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to end the contest. Uliase recorded an RBI single, and Murabito clinched the win with her two-run homer.

Up Next
Both teams will be right back in action tomorrow, as Western New England (14-10, 4-4 CCC) travels to Curry and Salve Regina (16-13, 6-4 CCC) returns home to host Nichols.