March 17, 2012

Softball Swept by Clark

WORCESTER, Mass. – Stefanie Kettenacker (Hastings-On-Hudson, N.Y.) drove in the game-winning run with a single to right, capping a wild come-from-behind win, giving host Clark University a sweep of previously undefeated Bridgewater State University on Saturday afternoon at O'Brien Field.

The Cougars won the first game 2-0 and then scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to complete the thrilling 3-2 win.

In the day's first game, Clark starter Nicole Meuse (Hudson, Mass.) flirted with a no-hitter, retiring the first 13 batters she faced in collecting her fourth win of the season.

Meanwhile, Bridgewater State hurler Megan Dunn (Colchester, Conn.) was just as equal to the task, holding the Cougars scoreless through the first five innings.

The Cougars got the game's only two runs in the bottom of the sixth, when Erin Murphy (Boxboro, Mass.) singled up the middle and then moved to third on a Meghan Lennon (Charlton, Mass.) double to left center. Shawna Amatucci (Shrewsbury, Mass.) then drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to right. Lennon then came around to score on a single to right by Tatiana Chunis (Sutton, Mass.).

Meuse then retired the final three batters for her fourth complete game. She allowed just two hits, while striking out three without walking any.

Dunn scattered eight hits in her six innings of work, allowing a pair of runs and posting two strikeouts.

Game two had the same feel as game one, but this time it was the Bears who had the lead. In the circle, Amber White (Middleboro, Mass.) was in control for Bridgewater State as she held the Cougars without a hit until a Murphy single to left with one out in the sixth.

The Bears scored a run in the second on a Michaela Ferreria (Fall River, Mass.) single that plated Penny King (Hanover, Mass.) in the second inning.

BSU got their other run in the fourth when Stephanie Burns (North Attleboro, Mass.) got on base with an infield single. After working her way to third, it looked as if the Cougars and starting pitcher Hayley Buckheit (Camden Hills, Maine) had worked their way out of trouble when a lazy fly ball was hit down the left field line. Clark outfielder Kiah Murphy (Westport, Mass.) moved towards the foul line but was unable to squeeze the ball that landed in foul territory. The umpire ruled that see was in the field of play and the run scored, making the game, 2-0.

The Cougars mounted their rally in the final frame when Chunis got on base with a single to right. She was moved to second when Heather Figula (Brick, N.J.) sacrificed her over. After Kiah Murphy was retired on an infield popup, No. 9 hitter Maureen Coakley (Worcester, Mass.) found herself down to her final strike on a 3-2 count. She proceeded to blast a double off the right centerfield fence that cut the Bridgewater State lead in half when Chunis scored.

Maya Allen (Concord, Mass.) then sent a rocket down to third base that hit off the foot of Jennifer Shaw (Brockton, Mass.) and sailed over the fence to the left of the Clark dugout for a ground-rule double that sent Coakley home, knotting the score at 2-2 and setting up Kettenacker's heroics.

The Cougar defense made several key defensive plays to keep within striking distance, including a pair of sensational catches in centerfield by Lennon.

Bridgewater State, now 10-2 will face Wheaton on Tuesday, while Clark is off until next Saturday when they play host to Springfield.

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