BIDDEFORD, Maine — The University of New England scored five times with two outs in the bottom of the 2nd to overcome an early deficit and claim a 7-4 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) softball victory against Salve Regina University on Thursday afternoon at Bill Doran Field. SRU took the opener of the league doubleheader by a 4-3 margin.
The results keep the Nor’easters at the .500 mark (9-9, 5-5 CCC), while the conference setback was the first of the season for the Seahawks (16-9, 11-1 CCC).
UNE’s Avery Alberghini (Middlesex, Vt.) led all players with six hits (singles) on the day, including a 4-for-4 showing at the dish in the second match.
Katelyn Austin (Bethlehem, N.H.) settled down after a rocky start to earn the GAME 2 win for the Nor’easters, surrendering two earned runs with eight hits and no walks in the circle. Alberghini topped the 14-hit offensive effort and received the support of Kelsey Mansfield (Brookline, N.H.), Lauren Gerhard (Merrimack, N.H.), and Sydney Helmbrecht (Grand Rapids, Minn.), who each contributed two hits.
Salve Regina used the positive momentum from earlier in the day to jump right out in front, however, as Emily Woznick (Sandy Hook, Conn.) launched a three-run homer over the fence in center before an out was recorded in the 1st. It was the only extra-base connection of the entire contest, for either side.
UNE responded quickly with two in the bottom of the frame. Base knocks by Alberghini and Helmbrecht were followed by a walk and a popout, before Sarah Lachapelle (Gilford, N.H.) drew another free pass to drive in a run. Mansfield grounded out on the ensuing play, but it was enough to send a run across and cut the deficit to 3-2.
A pair of errors benefited the Seahawks in the 2nd as the gap doubled (4-2), only to then see UNE take control moments later. Two outs brought the top of the order back up for the hosts, and both Alberghini and Helmbrecht beat-out infield singles to start the rally. Caroline Schoenbucher (Barrington, N.H.) then notched an RBI-single, and Gerhard drove in two with a single up the middle to make it 5-4 in favor of Big Blue. Lachapelle kept things going with a single, and a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position for Mansfield, who increased her RBI total to three with a single.
Austin and the defense behind her did not allow SRU past second base the rest of the way. The Nor’easters got out of the 3rd stanza, when the first two Seahawks reached, with an 8-6-5 double-play.
UNE was in position to add more with one away in its portion of the 4th, but stranded the bases loaded.
Woznick, Kara O’Riley (Acton, Mass.), and Lindsey Florent (New Bedford, Mass.) had two hits apiece for the visitors. Kaleigh Dwyer (East Brunswick, N.J.) took the loss in 1.2 innings of work prior to Kelsey Boarman’s (North Dighton, Mass.) lengthy relief appearance of three strikeouts against six hits and no walks.