Kaleigh Anderson (@KaleighAnd1)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College Softball team split a pair of close games with Johnson State Saturday afternoon at Cheryl R. Condon Field. The Blazers fell to the Badgers, 11-9, and captured the second contest 3-0. Elms moves to 4-6 on the season, while Johnson State sits at 2-10 overall.
Game 1: Johnson State 11, Elms 9 (9 Innings)
The Badgers came out strong at the top of the first inning after Jennie Moore (Peachem, VT.) reached second on a throwing error allowing Anna Bingham (Island Pond, VT.) to touch home earning the first run of the contest. Shortly after Shannon Grier (Plainfield, VT.) bombed a deep homer past center field to bring in Moore giving the Badgers an early 3-0 lead.
The Badgers would hold Elms scoreless until the Blazers pushed back during the bottom of the second with runs from Samantha Alvino (Holtsville, NY.) and Catharine Wrang (Middletown, Conn.) brought in by Keyla Oliveras (Springfield, Mass.) who singled up the middle to close the Blazers deficit to one.
The Badgers responded by tallying two runs in the third off of an Amanda Coulombe (Milton, VT.), double which drove in Kaitlyn Woodward (White River, VT.) and Moore to give Johnson State a 5-2 advantage.
The Blazers would continue to drive back and make power plays including an Elizabeth Olszewski (Canterbury, Conn.) homer in the sixth inning, which enabled Elms to tie the competition and force extra innings posting a 9-9 scoreboard at the bottom of the seventh. After a scoreless eighth inning the Badgers took a two run lead at the top of the ninth after a Hannah Leroux (Albany, VT.) homerun drove in Coulombe from second. The Blazers couldn't respond in turn giving the Badgers the first win of the afternoon.
For the Blazers Olszewski secured the first homerun of the 2016 season, while Messier, Gifford, and Oliveras each contributed two RBI's.
Game 2: Elms 3, Johnson State 0
In game two, the Blazers cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning after a Madison Messier (Warren, Mass.) walk pushed Tea Sullivan (Dracut, Mass.) to second, Wrang to third, and Oliveras to home plate giving Elms a 1-0 lead.
The Blazers would continue to widen the gap scoring once again at the bottom of the second as a Wrang single drove in Skinner who has previously singled to left field for Elms. The Blazers were able to keep Johnson State at bay collecting the initial first three outs consecutively in three back-to-back innings holding them off base until the sixth.
Woodward would single in the sixth getting on first for the Badgers, however the Blazer squad shut down the opportunity with Kacey Gifford (Suffield, Conn.) collecting a fly ball out in deep right field to secure the third out. Elms would go on to produce their final run of the afternoon during the bottom of the sixth as Wrang singled, in turn driving in Samantha Marty (West Brookfield, Mass.). The Blazers then collected three quick Badger outs to end the contest owning a 3-0 scoreboard.
For the Blazers Wrang led in RBI's with two, as well as hits with three. Tessa Cote walked away with the win earning her second victory of the season.
The Blazers will return to action back home Sunday, March 20th at 11:00 a.m. for an NECC matchup against Mitchell College at Cheryl R. Condon Field. The Badgers will play St. Joseph Vermont March 20th.