Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
NAPLES, Fla. – The Elms College softball squad fell in a pair of games during their final day of action at the 2017 Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic at the Player Development Complex Wednesday morning. The Blazers were defeated by Bridgewater State, 15-7, in six innings, followed by a 9-7 loss to New Jersey City University.
Game 1: Bridgewater State 15, Elms 7
The Bears harnessed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning behind a two-run home run to left-centerfield by senior Morgan Cox (Dennis Port, Mass.). The Blazers tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the second as junior Elizabeth Olszewski (Canterbury, Mass.) plated a pair of runs on a double to left field.
Bridgewater State erupted for eight runs in the second inning, sparked by a two-run double from senior Samantha LoPilato (Medford, Mass.) to grab a 4-2 lead. Senior Courtney Leddy (Saugus, Mass.) and Cox knocked back-to-back RBI singles, followed by a two-run single by freshman Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.) to push the gap to 8-2. Senior Jackie Welch (Hubbardston, Mass.) lined an RBI single to right-centerfield, and sophomore Julianne Coleman (Roslindale, Mass.) added an RBI walk to close out the offensive surge with a 10-2 lead.
Elms chipped away at the deficit in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with one out. Sophomore Raeanna Tumel (Stafford, Conn.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, followed by a two-run single from classmate Catharine Wrang (Middletown, Conn.) to trim the BSU lead to 10-5. Junior Elizabeth Olszewski (Canterbury, Conn.) tacked on an RBI single up the middle, and freshman Hannah Adams (Deerfield, Mass.) scored on a passed ball to pull Elms within three runs, 10-7.
The Bears posted three runs in the fifth behind Blazers fielding errors to pull away, and then added a two-run single from Leddy in the sixth to seal the 15-7 win.
Olszewski went 3-for-3 at the plate with a trio of RBIs, while Wrang drove in two runs and scored once.
Game 2: New Jersey City 9, Elms 7
The Blazers struck first against the Gothic Knights, hanging four runs on the board in the bottom of the second. With runners on first and third, Wrang ripped an RBI single, followed back-to-back RBI singles from freshman Katelyn Sylvia (Southwick, Mass.) and sophomore Kayla Doherty (Plaistow, N.H.). Messier launched a sacrifice fly to centerfield to bring home senior Tessa Cote (Granby, Mass.) to put Elms on top 4-0.
The Blazers added to their advantage with an RBI groundouts from sophomore Erin O'Donnell (Glenmont, N.Y.) in the third, and classmate Madison Messier (Warren, Mass.) in the fourth, and senior Meg Shewchuk (Springfield, Mass.) in the fifth inning to extend the Elms lead to 7-0.
New Jersey City ignited their rally in the top of the sixth behind an RBI double from senior Brittany Paulikas (Fords, N.J.) and a two-run home run from freshman Alannis Concepcion (Nutley, N.J.). Gothic Knights freshman Naomi Olacio (Bayonne, N.J.) followed Concepcion with a solo homer to whittle the gap to 7-4.
The Gothic Knights completed the comeback, posting five runs in the top of the seventh with two outs. With runners on first and third, Concepcion knocked an RBI single, followed by a two-run triple by Olacio to knot the score at 7-7. Junior Melissa Mendoza (Union City, N.J.) plated the game-winning run with an RBI single, and then freshman Alicia Nazario (Jersey City, N.J.) tacked on an RBI single to put New Jersey City ahead 9-7. The Blazers had runners in scoring position in the bottom of the frame, but failed to bring a run home as the Gothic Knights wrapped up the 9-7 win.
Doherty, O'Donnell, and Cote each tallied two hits in the game, while Messier knocked in two runs and Adams and Cote scored twice.
The Blazers will be back on the diamond for their 2017 home opener against Anna Maria March 22nd at Cheryl R. Condon Field. First pitch of game one is slated for 3:00 p.m.