BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - The Bridgewater State College softball team took a big step towards another MASCAC regular season title as the Bears swept a doubleheader with Westfield State this afternoon from Alumni Park in Bridgewater. The Bears took the opening game of the twinbill, 3-1, and completed the sweep with a 4-3 victory in game two.
With the two wins, Bridgewater improves to 18-14 overall and a perfect 10-0 in the MASCAC. Westfield falls to 19-9 on the season and 8-2 in conference play.
In the opener, Westfield scored an unearned run in the first on an RBI groundout to take an early 1-0 lead. The Bears tied the game up at 1-1 in the bottom of the second when sophomore right fielder Meghan Noyes (Stoughton, MA) walked, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored as junior shortstop Rachael Sprague (Duxbury, MA) reached on a dropped pop-up.
BSC pushed across the go ahead run in the bottom of the fourth as junior centerfielder Allie LeBlanc (Somerset, MA) and senior designated player Ciana Godin (Worcester, MA) belted back-to-back doubles. Bridgewater added an insurance run in the sixth as LeBlanc singled and moved to second on a throwing error. Godin followed with an RBI single up the middle driving in LeBlanc from second.
Sophomore right-hander Jamie Ducinski (Duxbury, MA) picked up the win in the opener for the Bears as she went four plus inning allowing just the one unearned run on one hit. Ducinski walked two and struck out two as she improved to 4-3 on the season.
Junior right-hander Alyssa Verronneau (Acushnet, MA) earned her MASCAC leading fifth save of the season as she tossed three scoreless innings. Verronneau gave up just one hit and struck out five.
LeBlanc went 2-for-2 in the opener with a double and two runs scored. Godin finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in.
Westfield junior right-hander Chelsea Sylvia (South Dartmouth, MA) pitched well for Owls in the losing effort. Sylvia (12-4) went the distance allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits. She walked two and struck out seven.
After picking up the save in game one, Verronneau came back to earn the complete game victory in game two as the Bears completed the sweep with the 4-3 win. Verronneau (10-4) battled her way to the win as she scattered 11 hits but did not walk a batter. Two of the three runs were earned and she struck out five.
Bridgewater State jumped ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first as LeBlanc was in the middle of the scoring once again. With two outs, LeBlanc laced a single down the right field line and moved to second as the ball was bobble in the outfield. Senior second baseman Nicole Hebert (Taunton, MA) drove in LeBlanc with the first run of the game as she knocked a base hit between third and short.
The Bears added three more runs in the second thanks again to a key Westfield error. Noyes led off the inning with a base hit. Junior catcher Lindsey Allison (South Easton, MA) then reached on a fielder's choice groundball as the throw to get Noyes at second went into right field. Noyes would end up on third base as the ball was boxed around again in the outfield. After a wild pitch scored Noyes and sent Allison to second, junior shortstop Rachel Sprague (Duxbury, MA) lined a an RBI single to left-center scoring Allison. Sprague would come around to score the third run of the inning two batters later on an RBI single by Godin.
Trailing 4-0, Westfield rallied for a pair of runs in the third inning on an RBI single by sophomore leftfielder Allison Allen (Peabody, MA) and a sacrifice fly by junior first baseman Katie Gorman (Feeding Hills, MA). Freshman shortstop Alicia Gardner (Athol, MA) and junior centerfielder Jackie Mason (Florida, MA) came around to score the two runs in the inning for the Owls. Gardner led off the frame with a base hit and moved to third on a double by Mason.
The score remained 4-2 until the seventh inning. After Verronneau retired the first two batters of the inning, junior right fielder Lindsay Jardin (Assonet, MA) got things going for the Owls with a single up the middle. Allen then followed with another base hit to put runners on first and second. Sophomore pinch hitter Danielle Lutenegger (Sunderland, MA) reached on an infield single and all the runners moved up an extra base as a very late and errant throw sailed wide of first. With the tying run at third and the go ahead run at second, Verronneau recorded her fifth strikeout of the game to end it.
LeBlanc finished 2-for-3 with a run scored in game two, while Noyes was also 2-for-3 with a run.
Westfield, which banged out 11 hits in game two but left eight runners on base, was led by Jardin and Allen who both finished 3-for-4. Gardner chipped in with a 2-for-3 performance.
Sophomore right-hander Sam Prouty (Auburn, MA) suffered the loss in the circle for the Owls as she allowed four runs on five hits over and inning and two-thirds. Junior right-hander Casey Riddell (Athol, MA) pitched very well in place of Prouty as she tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief giving up just two hits, a walk and hits batsmen.
Bridgewater State returns to the playing field on Patriots Day as the Bears travel to Fitchburg State College for a noontime MASCAC doubleheader with the Falcons.