Kaleigh Anderson (@KaleighAnd1)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College Softball team split a pair of tight New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) matchups with Mitchell College Sunday afternoon at Cheryl R. Condon Field. The Blazers defeated the Mariners, 3-2, then fell to Mitchell 8-5 during the second contest. Elms moves to 5-7 on the season and 1-1 in the NECC, while Mitchell sits at 2-10 overall and 1-1 in conference action.
Game 1: Elms 3, Mitchell 2
Both offenses fell short in the opening inning as they were unable to post any hits holding the contest to a 0-0 score. However the Blazers came out swinging securing three runs and four hits in the bottom of the second. The stint started with a Kacey Gifford (Suffield, Conn.) single to center field followed by an Elizabeth Olszewski (Canterbury, Conn.) single to the right side. Tea Sullivan (Dracut, Mass.) harnessed first off of a fielder's choice which in turn eliminated Gifford out at third. With two runners on base Tessa Cote (Granby, Mass.) doubled driving in the Blazers first two runs of the afternoon. Keyla Oliveras (Springfield, Mass.) found first for Elms sending Cote home to give the Blazers their 3-0 lead.
The Mariners responded with a single run after Samantha DelConte (Enfield, Conn.) singled to second, followed by a throwing error on Cote that advanced her to home plate. The Blazers held the Mariners to one until the top of the sixth when Brittany Fiederlein (Hampton, Conn.) singled to start things off for Mitchell. Nia Brown (New York, NY.) reached second off of a throwing error, which gave Fiederlein the time to touch home plate bringing in Mitchell's second run of the contest. Despite Mariner efforts the Blazers were able to close out the 7th inning owning a 3-2 advantage to take the win.
For the Blazers Cote led in RBI's with two. Gifford and Cote led Elms in hits with two apiece in the victory.
Game 2: Mitchell 8, Elms 5
In game two, the Blazers were able to keep Mitchell scoreless in the first. Elms then started things off with an Oliveras single to second base, followed by a Catharine Wrang (Middletown, Conn.) double advancing Oliveras to third. With two runners on deck Gifford singled out to the third base line driving in Oliveras for the first run of the contest. Mitchell would respond earning their first run during the top of the second where after being walked Delconte advanced to third off of a Taylor Duchesneua (Killingly, Conn.) single, and then stole home for Mitchell.
Elms continued to work posting two runs in the bottom of the third after a Gifford single was brought home when Kierstan Skinner (South Windsor, Conn.) hit her first home run of the 2016 season. Mitchell produced two runs at the top of the fourth to keep things close as Deconte and Fiederlein both scored after a Janelle Rice (Meriden, Conn.) single enabled them the time to get home. With the contest tied at 3-3 Mitchell combatted with a Delconte double to center field brought home by a Rice single up the middle.
Elms fought back tallying two runs in the bottom of the sixth after Skinner singled down the right field line driving home Wrang and Oliveras who were posted on base. However the Mariners found their hot streak throughout the top of the seventh bringing in 4 runs, the most in a single inning on the day. Despite Elms efforts the Mariners were able to keep the Blazers from scoring sending them home with the 8-5 victory.
Skinner led in RBI's with four on game, while Oliveras led in hits with three and runs with two.
The Blazers will return to action back home Tuesday, March 22nd at 3:00 p.m. for a non- conference matchup against St. Joseph (Conn.) at Cheryl R. Condon Field. The Mariners will play at St. Joseph (Conn.) March 30th.