WORCESTER, Mass. – The visiting Bridgewater State University softball team split a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) doubleheader with defending regular season champion Worcester State University on Saturday afternoon at Rockwood Park.
Worcester took the first game, 5-3, while Bridgewater earned the split with a 4-3 come-from-behind win in the nightcap.
The Bears see their record go to 6-13 on the season and 3-1 in the MASCAC, while the host and Lancers are now 3-19 overall and 2-2 in conference play.
Game 1 - Worcester State 5, Bridgewater State 3
Worcester State scored runs in the second, third, and fourth innings, and got strong pitching from senior captain Rachel Frisch (Worcester, Mass.) to pick up its second MASCAC win of the season.
Sophomore Sam Maglione (Lancaster, Mass.) got the Lancers on the board first in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single to put the hosts up 1-0, and in the third, sophomore Tyler Rano (Auburn, Mass.) extended the lead to 2-0 nothing with an RBI base hit of her own.
Bridgewater scored its first run of the day in the top of the fourth inning, when freshman Alexandra Taylor (Hebron, Conn.) drove home classmate Emma Healy (Plymouth, Mass.), cutting Worcester State's advantage to 2-1.
The Lancers responded in a big way in the bottom of the inning by putting up a three-spot to take a 5-1 lead. Junior Ashley Lynch (Shrewsbury, Mass.), senior Katie Polselli (Charlton, Mass.), and Rano all had RBI singles in the frame to extend Worcester's advantage.
Bridgewater tallied single runs in the sixth and seventh on RBI hits from Megan Sharon (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Kacie Carvalho (Fairhaven, Mass.), but a huge 7-5-4 double play in the seventh quelled Bridgewater's comeback bid to help Frisch close it out. On a fly ball to left field with nobody out and runners on second and third, Kristen Huston (Spencer, Mass.) came up firing to the plate after making the play, but the runner on third base stopped after tagging up and returned to the bag. Polselli made a leaping cut-off and fired to Samantha Stake (Worcester, Mass.) who tagged out the runner trying to retreat to second for the double play. Two batters later, Frisch induced a fly out to Haley Scola (Worcester, Mass.) in right field to finish off the her second win of the season.
Frisch (2-6) went the distance, throwing a whopping 161 pitches over seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and eight walks while striking out four Bears. Junior Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, Mass.) took the loss for Bridgewater State. Sorrenti (4-5) gave up five runs (four earned) on 13 hits while striking out four.
Offensively, Worcester State received clutch hitting all game long, with four of the team's five runs coming with two outs. Every player in Worcester State's lineup recorded at least one hit in the win, led by Rano, who went 3-for-3 at the dish.
Taylor went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Bears, while senior Jenny Heller (Taunton, Mass.) singled, walked twice and scored a run in four plate appearances. Senior Courtney Gouveia (Taunton, Mass.) also had multiple hits for the visitors as she went 2-for-5. Carvalho finished 1-for-3 at the plate with a walk, run and RBI.
Bridgewater left 13 runners on base, while Worcester stranded seven.
Game 2 - Bridgewater State 4, Worcester State 3
Heller's clutch two-run single with two outs in the top of the seventh lifted the Bears to the 4-3 comeback victory and a split of the twinbill.
Bridgewater State got on the board first in the top half of the second inning, as a pair of unearned runs came across for the Bears. Both runs were scored on Worcester State errors, which would ultimately end up proving very costly down the stretch.
Bridgewater freshman pitcher Kelley Reichert (Milford, Mass.) was cruising right along for the Bears in the circle. After allowing just three hits and striking out a pair over the first four innings, the Lancers finally got to the rookie in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a single from Maglione and a walk from Lynch, junior Kaiulani Ennis (Swansea, Mass.) and Polselli roped back-to-back, two-out doubles to put Worcester State ahead 3-2.
Bridgewater State was down to its final out in the top of the seventh inning. A walk to Gouveia, a fielder's choice ground out and a base hit by sophomore Alexandra Ruprecht (Kingston, Mass.) put runners on first and second with one out. Following a strikeout, a costly wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third. Heller took advantage of the opportunity as she rifled a single to left to drive in both runners and give the Bears a 4-3 lead.
The Lancers brought the top of the order up in the seventh inning, but Reichert (2-5) forced three straight fly outs to end the game. She would earn her second win of the season with a final line of three runs on seven hits and two walks with a pair of strikeouts.
Worcester State's loss went to sophomore Liv Larson (Marlborough, Mass.) despite one of her better outings of the season. Larson (0-4) allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits in the loss. She walked six and fanned two.
Heller went 3-for-4 with the two big runs batted in to lead the BSU offense.
Bridgewater left nine runners on base, while Worcester stranded six.
Worcester State will turn around and face UMass Dartmouth tomorrow afternoon for a doubleheader at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. The Bears will host Rhode Island College tomorrow for a doubleheader, with first pitches scheduled for 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.