Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College softball team posted a pair of victories over visiting Bay Path University in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader at Cheryl R. Condon Field Saturday afternoon. The Blazers (10-13, 7-3 NECC) rallied to an 8-3 win in the opener, and then defeated the Wildcats (12-14, 4-6 NECC), 8-4, in the finale.
Game 1: Elms 8, Bay Path 3
The Wildcats got on the scoreboard early, plating two runs in the top of the first. Junior Lauren Vallee (Bristol, Conn.) lined a leadoff single to left field, and then scored during an Elms error on a sac bunt from freshman Kiley Bissell (Goshen, Mass.). Bissell would steal second, advance to third on an error, and then score on a wild pitch to stake Bay Path to a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Blazers chipped away at the deficit as senior Kacey Gifford (Suffield, Conn.) knocked a leadoff single up the middle, and then scored from first on an RBI double from classmate Tessa Cote (Granby, Mass.) to plate the Blazers first run of the game. With runners on first and second, sophomore Erin O'Donnell (Glenmont, N.Y.) ripped a base clearing single of the left-centerfield fence to even the score at 3-3. The Blazers grabbed a 4-3 lead as sophomore Catharine Wrang (Middletown, Conn.) laced an RBI single up the middle to bring home freshman Hannah Adams (Deerfield, Mass.) from second.
The Blazers seized control in the bottom of the sixth with a four-run inning, sparked by a leadoff double from Gifford. Cote poked an RBI double to centerfield, scoring Gifford, and then advanced to third on a sac fly. With runners on the corners, freshman Katelyn Sylvia (Southwick, Mass.) smacked an RBI single up the middle, followed by a two-run double from O'Donnell to put Elms on top, 8-3. Cote retired the Wildcats 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.
O'Donnell paced the Blazers at the dish, driving in four runs on two hits. Wrang went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Cote drove in two runs and scored twice. Cote (6-7) logged her seventh complete game of the season, surrendering three runs, one earned, on five hits with two strikeouts.
Vallee tallied two hits with an RBI, while Bissell and senior Gretchen Hale (Naugatuck, Conn.) each scored. Sophomore Madison Goodhart (6-7; Pawtucket, R.I.) took the loss, allowing eight runs, four earned, on 14 hits with four strikeouts.
Game 2: Elms 8, Bay Path 4
Bay Path grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning behind a two-out RBI single from Hale. The Blazers responded in the bottom of the second with back-to-back singles from Wrang and junior Elizabeth Olszewski (Canterbury, Conn.). After advancing on a sac bunt from sophomore Madison Messier (Warren, Mass.) Wrang and Olszewski came around to score on a two-run single from Gifford to harness a 2-1 lead. Elms added another run in the home half of the third inning on an RBI single from Olszewski.
Trailing 3-1 in the fifth, Bay Path pulled even with two runs in the frame. Wildcat sophomore Jailinne Ruiz (Hadley, Mass.) dropped a leadoff bunt for a single, and then moved over to third base on a single from Vallee down the right field line. With runners on second and third, Goodhart knocked a two-run single up the middle to even the score at 3-3.
The Blazers regained control in the bottom of the fifth, bringing home three runs with two outs in the frame. Wrang reached on an error, and then scored on a pinch-hit RBI single from O'Donnell to hold a 4-3 edge. Elms brought home three runs on consecutive walks to extend the lead to 7-3. Holding a 7-4 lead, the Blazers added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as Messier stroked an RBI triple into the right-centerfield gap to send Elms to the 8-4 win.
Olszewski went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving in one runs and scoring three times. Gifford plated a pair of runs and scored, Cote tallied two hits, and Wrang touched home twice. Sophomore Raeanna Tumel (6-7; Stafford, Conn.) picked up the win, allowing four runs on ten hits with five strikeouts.
Vallee, Goodhart, and sophomore Marissa Sarina-McCarthy (Westhampton, Mass.) logged two hits apiece, while Goodhart drove in two runs and Sarina-McCarthy scored twice. Freshman Felicia Gaillardetz (6-7; Londonberry, N.H.) gave up eight runs, four earned, on 11 hits with three strikeouts.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they travel to Southern Vermont College for an NECC doubleheader Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. Bay Path hosts Regis (Mass.) College in an NECC twinbill Sunday at 1:00 p.m.