SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 16, 2016) – The Western New England University softball team solidified its position at the top of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) standings with two more league victories over Curry College Saturday afternoon at Golden Bear Softball Park. Western New England piled up 14 hits en route to an 8-1 win in the opener, before edging the Colonels 2-1 in game two.
Western New England 8, Curry 1
Every player in Western New England's batting order recorded at least one hit in the opener, and the Golden Bears scored in every inning but the first. Senior third baseman McKenzie Pezze (Albany, N.Y.) led the 14-hit attack with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate, while junior shortstop Gabby Lavinio (Dalton, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and one RBI out of the leadoff spot.
Senior outfielder Alexis Bukowski (Wallingford, Conn.) was also a key offensive contributor, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs.
Classmate Heidi Grieger (Hyde Park, N.Y.) earned her tenth win of the season (10-5) after pitching five innings and allowing just one earned run on seven hits. Sophomore Sarah Broderick (Woodbury, Conn.) finished the game in the circle, striking out five batters over two innings of work.
Sophomore Rachel Byrd (Hampstead, N.H.) staked the Colonels to a 1-0 lead with a line drive, solo home run in the top of the second, but Western New England answered in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by sophomoreLindsay Williams (Coventry, Conn.).
The Golden Bears then pulled ahead with a pair of runs in the third, as Bukowski came through with a two-out, two-run single, scoring Pezze and junior Corianna DeLisi (Tuxedo, N.Y.).
Western New England continued to roll offensively, plating two runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth, before capping the scoring in the sixth on junior Katie Wood's (Westport, Mass.) RBI double to right center.
Western New England 2, Curry 1
Game two featured a pitcher's duel between Western New England junior Samantha DiGiovanni (Shirley, N.Y.) and Curry sophomore Jordan Lizotte (Rehoboth, Mass.). DiGiovanni tossed 4.1 innings, striking out three batters and allowing just one run on six hits, while Lizotte pitched all six frames, fanning four batters and walking six, while giving up two runs (one earned) on six hits. Broderick came on in relief and posted another impressive effort, striking out five Colonels and surrendering just one hit in 2.2 innings of work to improve to 3-1 this season.
Curry grabbed an early lead for the second consecutive game, claiming a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first as sophomore April Adams (Burlington, Mass.) led off with a double to left center and junior Mikayla Korona (Bellingham, Mass.) followed with an RBI single.
The Golden Bears stranded three runners on base in the second inning, but capitalized on another bases loaded opportunity in the third, when Wood delivered an RBI single to center field.
Neither team was able to push across the go-ahead run over the next two frames, but Curry had an opportunity in the sixth with runners on first and third and just one out. Broderick escaped the situation unscathed, however, striking out consecutive batters to keep the score tied.
Western New England then pulled ahead in the bottom of the sixth, when senior Heather Fecteau (Biddeford, Maine) led off with a single and pinch-runner Tara Cabral (Kingston, Mass.) advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wood before coming in to score on Williams' RBI single.
Broderick worked around a one-out walk and closed the door on the Colonels in the seventh, as Western New England completed its fifth CCC sweep this season.
The Golden Bears (17-11, 11-1 CCC) will be right back in action tomorrow at Roger Williams, while Curry (11-13, 2-6 CCC) heads back on the road to face Salve Regina.
(Recap courtesy of Western New England University Sports Information)