SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 24, 2019) – The Western New England University softball team dropped a pair of non-conference contests to crosstown rival Springfield College on Wednesday afternoon at Potter Field.
Springfield 3, Western New England 2
The Golden Bears were limited to three hits in the opener, as sophomore Madison Murabito (Liverpool, N.Y.) recorded an RBI double and junior Sydney Pounds (Milford, Mass.) and freshman Jamie Cookingham (Warner, N.H.) both singled.
Junior Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) took the loss in the circle despite turning in a solid outing in which she struck out five batters and allowed just two earned runs over 7.2 innings.
Springfield was led by junior Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.), who went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Senior pitcher Shelby Allen (Oakland, N.J.) got it done both at the plate and in the circle, as she recorded two singles and tossed eight innings, striking out seven while surrendering one earned run.
After four scoreless frames, Western New England broke through in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Emilie Decker (Pattersonville, N.Y.) got it started with a leadoff walk, before advancing to second on a wild pitch and moving up to third on an infield single off the bat of Pounds. Pounds then stole second base, and an errant throw from the Springfield catcher allowed Decker to cross the plate.
The Pride tied the contest in the bottom half of the inning, however, as freshman Sara Mulligan (Cheshire, Conn.) recorded a two-out single and came in to score two batters later when Conley came through with an RBI single to right field.
The Golden Bears regained the lead in the top of the fifth on a two-out double down the right field line by Murabito, which scored Cookingham, but Springfield equalized again as Conley recorded an RBI groundout in the bottom of the seventh.
The Pride then walked off with the win in the bottom of the eighth, as junior Jen Slane (Tolland, Conn.) delivered a two-out RBI single to center field.
Springfield 7, Western New England 4
Western New England received two-hit performances from senior Giovanna Russo (East Haven, Conn.), junior Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) and freshman Dina DiBlasio (Norwalk, Conn.), while DiBlasio recorded two RBI and Uliase had one.
Conley again sparked the Springfield offense with a 2-for-4 effort out of the leadoff spot. Allen, junior Meghan Sastram (Oxford, Conn.) and junior Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.) also posted two-hit performances, while Sastram, Wheeler and freshman Ava Fernandez (Cedar Grove, N.J.) drove in two runs each.
Western New England jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning courtesy of RBI singles from DiBlasio and Uliase, but the Pride responded with RBI singles from Sastram and Wheeler in the bottom half of the inning to tie the contest.
The Pride then took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Conley and Sastram both recorded two-out, RBI singles. Springfield increased its lead to 7-2 with a three-run fifth, which was highlighted by Fernandez's two-run double to right center.
Western New England got two runs back in the top of the seventh, and the Golden Bears brought the potential game-tying run to the plate, but junior Marisa Valenti (Trumbull, Conn.) struck Uliase out to end the contest.
Western New England (18-14) returns home to host Westfield State tomorrow, while Springfield (22-14) travels to Western Connecticut on Friday.