Weekend college roundup, baseball: Husson reaches NAC title round

Posted May 04, 2013, at 6:24 p.m.
Last modified May 05, 2013, at 7:19 p.m.

CASTLETON, Vt. — Husson University scored six runs in the seventh inning to overcome a two-run deficit Sunday and pull away for a 14-6 victory over Thomas College in the semifinals of the North Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship.

The Eagles from Bangor (26-17) advance to Monday’s championship round, where they will face the winner of Sunday’s late elimination game between Thomas College of Waterville and Castleton State.

Husson will play for the title at 10 a.m., with an if-necessary game scheduled for 1 p.m.

Saturday’s action was moved to Sunday after technical issues at the Castleton State facility made field conditions unplayable.

On Sunday, the Eagles scored 11 runs in the final three innings to claim the victory. Shawn Smith’s two-run single and the first of two, two-run home runs by Josh Gaudette were the key blows.

Dennis O’Neil (5-3) allowed nine hits and five runs in six innings, before Dan Whitney pitched two shutout innings and Joe Dvilinski worked the ninth for Husson.

SMith tallied three singles and three RBIs, J.T. Whitten provided a double and a single with three RBIs and Kyle Bishop drove in two runs with a double and two singles.

Eric Sucy led Thomas with two doubles, a single and two RBIs. Derek Kane singled three times and Nik Beeson hit two singles with an RBI, while Cody Vigue and Zack Groat added two singles each.

Starter Tim Locke (4-4) went 6 2/3 innings and took the loss.

Trailing 5-3, Husson surged in the seventh. Cody McInnis reached on a one-out error, then Pat Thibodeau and Dylan Foster singled to set up a game-tying, two-run single by Smith.

Whitten plated a run with a double before Gaudette hit a two-run blast to left. Jordan Carter also had an RBI single in the inning.

The Eagles scored four more runs in the eight, sparked by Whitten’s two-run single and another two-run homer by Gaudette that made it 13-5.

UMPI sweeps EMCC

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Carlos Villoria (Sr./Caracas, Venezuela) set the University of Maine-Presque Isle baseball team record for hits in a season and the Owls created a new standard for program wins in a season as they swept a doubleheader vs. Eastern Maine Community College on Sunday.

The Owls won the opener, 11-0, and then took the nightcap, 12-1, in the 2013 finales for both teams. Presque Isle finishes the season 16-23, two more wins than they had in their previous season high (2009). EMCC ends its campaign 3-22.

Villoria’s double in the bottom of the fourth of game one topped the mark of 58 set by Tyler Delaney also in 2009. By going 4-8 on Sunday, Villora finishes the season with 62 hits.

Game 1: Jake Fillebrown (Sr./Stoneham, ME) tossed a complete game, 3-hit, shutout in game one to get the Owls to their 14th win of the season. At one point in the middle of the game, the lanky right hander retired 9 straight Golden Eagle batters en route to notching his 3rd win of the season.

Presque Isle broke open what had been a 1-0 in the fourth inning. Alex Csiernik (Jr./Hamilton, Ontario) led off with a single. Shane Smith (Jr./Farmington, ME) then came in as a courtesy runner and proceeded to steal second and third base during Cam Morrell‘s (Jr./Harpswell, ME) at bat. After Morrell struck out,Josiah Brasier (Jr./Searsport, ME) lifted an RBI SAC fly to right bringing in Smith.

With two down and nobody on, the Golden Eagles were unable to minimize the damage. Three straight singles by Stephen Thorne (Sr./Dalhousie, NB), Justin Bergeron (Jr./Tiverton, RI), Jordan Duffy (Sr./Fort Augustus PEI), and a double from Villoria plated three more runs, putting the Owls up, 5-0.

UMPI put the game out of reach in the sixth, taking advantage of a couple EMCC errors to keep the inning going and allow Presque Isle to score six runs on six hits. The big blow came off the bat of Csiernik whose 2 RBI double brought in Logan McLaughlin (Fr./Mars Hill, ME) and Villoria.

Presque Isle owned the hit column, 14-3. Bergeron and Csiernik each collected 3 base knocks, whileBrazier and Villoria contributed two a piece.

Game 2: Eight UMPI runs in the third inning of game two broke open a 2-0 game and allowed the home team to cruise to a 12-1 victory. Defensive miscues hounded EMCC, who committed 2 errors in the decisive 3rd, and four for the game. Royce Landeen started and took the loss for the Golden Eagles, but of the 10 runs he surrendered in his 4 innings of work, only 4 would be earned.

Game one winner, Fillebrown, was a factor from the plate in the nightcap. In the lineup at DH, Fillebrown lifted a 3-2 pitch from Landeen in the top of the 2nd over the fence in left field for his second home run of the season. The Stoneham, ME native added a double and single before his day was done finishing 3-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI.

As was the story all weekend, Owls pitchers dominated on the mound. Game two starter, Ghazaleh Sailors(So./Santa Barbara, CA) pitched into the 6th inning, allowing just one EMCC run on six hits. She picked up her first win of the season while lowering her ERA from 9.82 to 7.78.

Fillebrown was joined in the 3-hit club by Duffy (3-4, 2R, 2RBI) and Thorne (3-4, 2R, RBI) as Presque Isle doubled up the Golden Eagles in the hit column, 16-8.

Max Mayer (Sr./Oxford, ME) and Lucas Molloy (Jr./Lovell, ME) each tossed a scoreless frame to close out the UMPI sweep.

UMPI sweeps EMCC

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine-Presque Isle baseball team continued its dominance over Eastern Maine Community College on Senior Day Saturday. Playing at Presque Isle High School, the Owls swept a doubleheader from the Golden Eagles 7-0 and 13-0. Presque Isle (14-23) is now 5-0 vs. the EMCC (3-20) this season. The two teams will dial it up again on Sunday for another twinbill (12pm and 2pm). The games will be the final contests of the season for both programs.

Game 1: Carlos Villoria (Sr./Caracas, Venezuela) laced an 2 RBI single in the bottom of the first to score Justin Bergeron (Jr./Tiverton, RI) and Jordan Duffy ( Sr./Fort Augustus, PEI), who had reached on back-to-back doubles to give the Owls a quick 2-0 advantage.

Both team squandered scoring opportunities in the 3rd inning.

Still up 2-0, Dylan Worster (Jr./Howland, ME) worked out of trouble in the top of the third. EMCC pitcher AJ Harris reached on an error and one better later, moved to second on a single by LF Nate Dow. After Worsterinduced a flyout to left, a head’s up play by his catcher Alex Csiernik (Jr./Hamilton, Ontario) cut down the lead runner. After the 2nd pitch to Andrew Giosa, Harris stranded a little too far from the bag at 2nd. Csiernik briefly ran out towards the Golden Eagle pitcher and then fired a strike behind him to 2B Bergeron. Caught in a rundown, Harris was eventually retired 2-4-5. Worster then induced a 5-3 groundout from Giosa to get out of trouble.

A baserunning error also cut a promising inning short for the Owls in the bottom of the 3rd. Duffy led things off with a single just under the glove of 1B Casey Wickens. Villoria followed with a four-pitch walk. Before DH Daniel Lewis (Gardner Mines, NS) had a chance to bring anyone in, Duffy was picked off at 2nd. Two flyouts to right by Lewis and Logan McLaughlin (Fr./Mars Hill, ME) ended the threat with no runs getting across.

Decision-making on the basepaths almost haunted the Owls again in the 4th. With two on, nobody out, and the #9 spot in the order coming up, coach Leo Saucier opted to play for the sacrifice bunt. Shane Smith(Jr./Farmington, ME) laid one down in front of the pitcher Harris who spun and threw to 3rd. Stephen Thorne (Sr./Dalhousie, NB), who had entered the game as a courtesy runner, appeared to think the play was going to first and eased up as he approached third choosing not to slide. Harris’ throw beat him by a step and the Owls’ lead runner was cut down. A Bergeron strikeout followed and UMPI appeared as though it would miss out on a golden opportunity to extend its lead. However, as they would do all afternoon, Duffy andVilloria delivered, producing a single and double respectively to bring two runs across and give the Owls a 4-0 lead.

After two more runs in the 5th, Villoria closed out the scoring in the 6th. The first baseman was hit by a pitch. The Caracas, Venezuela native then stole second and third base before coming in two batters later on a Josiah Brazier (Jr./Searsport, ME) RBI groundout to third.

Worster, who worked in and out of trouble all afternoon, had benefitted from some great defense in the top of the 5th. With the bases loaded and two outs, Dustin Sawtelle hit a bouncer to the hole at short that looked destine for left field. Duffy ranged over to glove it and threw off-balance to second to get the force and keep the shutout intact.

That was the last time the Golden Eagles would threaten as Worster completed six shutout frames before giving way to Jordan Perry (Jr./Baileyville, ME) who tossed a clean 7th to end game one. Worster earned his fourth win of the season, scattering 6 hits and striking out 3.

Duffy was 3-4 at the plate for Presque Isle. Villoria reached base in all four plate appearances (2-2, HBP, BB), drove in three, and stole four bases.

Game 2: In game two, the Owls once again pounced early. Taking advantage of two Golden Eagle errors, Presque Isle plated four runners in the bottom of the first on four hits. Duffy, Villoria, and Csiernik all collected RBI in the frame.

After the Golden Eagles were unable to score in top of the 2nd, the Owl bats went back to work. Four more hits led to four more runs and the Owls found themselves up 8-0 after two.

The Golden Eagles seemed to run out of gas after that, earning more errors in the contest (6) than basehits (4).

Adam Geel (Fr./Calais, ME) kept EMCC frustrated at the plate through 5 innings of work. Geel put together his most dominant performance of the season in earning his first collegiate win. The rookie right-hander cruised through 5 innings of shutout baseball, scattering 3 hits, walking two, and striking out 7. Ghazaleh Sailors(So./Santa Barbara, CA) and Max Mayer (Sr./Oxford, ME) each tossed a scoreless inning of relief to preserve the shutout.

Presque Isle 1-3 hitters (Smith, Duffy, Villoria) combined to go 7-11, scoring 4 times and driving in 8 of the team’s 13 runs. On the day, Villoria was not retired in an official at bat, finishing 6-6 in the twinbill.

Amherst sweeps Colby

WATERVILLE, Maine —- Bob Cook pitched a complete game in the opener and Dylan Driscoll earned the victory in the nightcap to help Amherst College to 5-1 and 8-3 victories over Colby College in non-conference play Saturday at Coombs Field.

Amherst moves to 22-11 overall, while the Mules end the season at 11-23.

Cook struck out five, walked none, and gave up just the lone earned run in improving to 4-2 this year. Driscoll moved to 7-0 after pitching five innings and striking out three.

The Lord Jeffs scored a lone run in the first inning of the opener when Jonathan Ramirez singled, stole second base, and eventually scored when Alex Hero reached on an error.

Amherst led off the second with another single, this time by catcher Dave Cunningham. After moving to second on a groundout, Cunningham scored on a single by Andrew Vandini.

The Mules kept it close for five innings, with senior pitcher Mark Nelson keeping his team in the game. Colby cut the lead to 2-1 in the second when Daniel Csaplar had a one-out single, moved to second on a single by Christopher Sonberg, and scored on John Schroeder’s single in the bottom of the second.

The Lord Jeffs took control with three runs in the top of the sixth inning. Hero singled to lead off and promptly stole second base. He later scored on a single by Mike Odenwaelder. Cunningham had a single to bring in another run and Vandini smacked an RBI double to score Cunningham.

In the second game, Ramirez again led off with a single and stole second base in the first inning. Taiki Kasuga moved Ramirez over to third with a single and Cook followed with an RBI groundout to second base. Odenwaelder had a double to plate Kasuga for a 2-0 lead.

Colby had a lone run in the third when Schroeder was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Tyler Starks singled him to second base and he later scored on a single by Nathan Ellis.

Amherst added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning for a 4-1 margin. Conner Gunn singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a single by Cunningham. Vandini put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over and Ramirez had a double to score both runs.

The Mules made it 4-2 with another lone run in the fourth inning. Kevin Galvin led off with a single, moved to second on a single by Csaplar, and both runners advanced on a sacrifice by Ben Crocker. Schroeder reached on a fielder’s choice and brought in Galvin with Colby’s second run.

Amherst went ahead 7-2 in the top of the fifth inning. Hero singled to start things off, Cook was hit by a pitch, and Odenwaelder singled to load the bases. Hero and Cook both came around to score on a wild pitch, and Gunn had an RBI single for the other score.

Ellis reached by a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning for Colby and later scored on a single by Galvin. Amherst scored its final run in the sixth inning when Hero had a two-out single, stole second base, and scored on Cook’s single.

So. Maine 17, Suffolk 2

GORHAM, Maine — Tucker White drove in six runs with a home run, a double and two singles on Sunday to power the Huskies to victory.

Forrest Chadwick hit a double and two singles with two RBIs, while Matt Verrier (double, single) and Anthony Pisani (two singles) each drove in two runs for the University of Southern Maine (33-7). John Carey doubled and singled and Chris Bernard hit a two-run homer.

Shyler Scates pitched two hitless innings of relief to earn the win.

Adam Johnson doubled and singled with an RBI and Mike Muse had two singles an an RBI for Suffolk of Boston (29-12).

Softball

UMaine drops 2 of 3

ORONO, Maine — Erica Phelps reached on a two-out fielding error by the center fielder, allowing Margaret Betz (single) to score the eventual winning run in the 11th inning Sunday as the University of Hartford beat the University of Maine 4-3 in the finale of their America East series at Kessock Field.

The teams split Saturday’s doubleheader, with the Hawks taking the opener 4-0 and the Black Bears winning the second game 4-0.

UMaine finished the season at 8-40, 4-14 in league play. Hartford is 21-32 and 11-8, respectively.

On Sunday, Zuzana Kudernatschov scattered six hits over 11 innings to earn the win. She struck out five and walked six.

Jenice Aloyo and Kate Wacyk had two singles each for Hartford and Jordan Haines hit an RBI single.

UMaine managed only six hits, including RBI singles by Jenny Macdowell and Nikki Byron. Kristen Koslosky and Hannah Hill doubled behind losing pitcher Beth Spoehr, who gave up five hits and one earned run in 6 2/3 innings.

In Saturday’s second game, Hannah Hill (Fryeburg, Maine) tossed a one-hit shutout in game two while EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.) went 3-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.

In game one, Hartford broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the top of the fourth. Sawyer Fried laced a double into left field which plated a pair of runs before Melani Maxwell dropped an RBI single into center field, giving the Hawks a 3-0 lead.

Hartford added a run in the top of the sixth when Erica Phelps lined a two-out single into right field, scoring Fried from second.

The Black Bears were able to load the bases in both the first and third innings but each time Hartford escaped the jams unharmed and would hold on for a 4-0 win.

Hilary Kane (Concord, N.H.) had the lone hit for the Black Bears who stranded seven runners.

Beth Spoehr (Appleton, Wis.) went the distance in the loss for Maine as she gave up four runs, one earned, on six hits and five strikeouts.

In game two, Maine jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as it plated a single run in the bottom of the first. Fogel began the inning with a single back up the middle. After Fogel stole second, Jean Stevens (Albany, Ore.) reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing Fogel to third. A deep fly from Kane was caught in foul territory as Fogel tagged and scored the game’s first run.

Maine opened up its lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Makaila Kowalsky (Colchester, Conn.) started the rally with an infield single to short. A line drive single into right field from Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) moved Kowalsky up to third before Stephanie Wood‘s (Florence, N.J.) perfect suicide squeeze bunt plated Kowalsky. Wood would then steal second before Nikki Byron‘s (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) single to center field scored Burk. Fogel continued the rally with a single through the right side which brought in Wood with Maine’s fourth run of the day.

Hill and the Maine defense were flawless for the remaining three innings as the Black Bears took game two 4-0.

Hill pitched fantastic in the circle for Maine as she went the distance in picking up her third win after giving up just one hit while striking out five in the complete game shutout victory.

The Black Bears close out the 2013 season tomorrow when they look for the series win against Hartford at 11 AM. Prior to the game, Maine will honor its three seniors; Kane, Spoehr and Jenny MacDowell (Littleton, Mass.) for their hardwork and dedication to the University of Maine over the past four years.

Husson sweeps St. Joseph’s

STANDISH, Maine – After winning the North Atlantic Conference Championship last weekend, the Eagles continued their winning ways taking both games of a doubleheader from the Monks of Saint Joseph College, who just brought home their own championship in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference.

Game One: Husson 3 – Saint Joseph’s 0

A productive 6th and 7th innings for the Eagle offense and another strong pitching performance by Amanda Ryan (Brewer, ME) were the difference in game 1.

In the top of the 6th Courtney Hill (Calais, ME) reached on a single, stealing second base, and advancing to third. Deb Colpitts (Levant, ME) singled to right field bringing in Hill for the first run of the game.

In the top of the 7th Haley Spiers (Rochester, NH) got all the way to third base on an error in left field. Lona Sargent (Sullivan, ME) bunted, advancing to second on the fielders throw, batting in Spiers to make it 2-0 Eagles. Aimee Mortensen (Biddeford, ME) singled up the middle to bring in the third run for Husson, scoring Sargent and making it 3-0.

Ryan faced 24 batters, throwing 52 strikes on 69 pitches.

Game Two: Husson 3 – Saint Joseph’s 1

NAC Tournament MVP Becca McCarty (Skowhegan, ME) took the mound for the Eagles in game 2; throwing 3 strong innings, facing 12 batters, and grabbing 4 strike outs in the win. Kayla Merrill (Bethel, ME) grabbed the save for the Eagles.

Husson jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Heidi Shaw (Manchester, ME) bunted causing the pitcher to commit an error and reached first base. Breanna Martin (Oxford, ME) who came in to pinch hit for Courtney Hill singled batting in Shaw.

In the top of the 5th the Eagles scored what would be the winning runs when Sami Schultz (Hermon, ME) walked, Allie Hill (Calais, ME) came in to pinch run. C. Hill reached first on a throwing error, scoring A. Hill. Aimee Mortensen singled through the right side to bat in C. Hill.

The Monks saw their only offense of the day in the bottom of the 6th when they put 1 run on the board.

The Eagles are still awaiting their opponent in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

Tufts 8, Bowdoin 0

MEDFORD, Mass. — Senior tri-captain Rebecca DiBiase pitched a one-hit shutout and sophomore CF Michelle Cooprider went 4 for 4 and scored four runs as the Tufts softball team won its eighth NESCAC title with an 8-0 victory in six innings over Bowdoin on Sunday morning at Spicer Field.

The Jumbos (38-3), who had 12 hits in the game, earn the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship. Tufts will play in the NCAA’s for the 13th time overall. Bowdoin (30-14) will await a potential at-large berth into the NCAA’s. The field for the 2013 NCAA Championship will be announced on Monday morning.

DiBiase faced the minimum batters in her six innings of work. Bowdoin junior 2B Hanna Wurgaft led off the game with a single to right, the only hit of the game for the Polar Bears. She was forced out on a ground ball by senior SS Toni DaCampo, who was later caught stealing.

Cooprider provided all the offense that Tufts would need in the bottom of the first with a long home run to left. However, Tufts would open up a 6-0 lead by scoring five times in the third. They had five hits and took advantage of two Bowdoin errors in the inning. Sophomore LF Bri Keenan (Portsmouth, NH) delivered a two-run double to center to highlight the frame.

Tufts increased the margin to 7-0 in the fourth inning with consecutive singles by Cooprider, junior catcher Jo Clair (Glastonbury, CT), and senior SS Emily Beinecke (Concord, MA), who had the rbi.

The Jumbos were able to end the game by the eight-run rule in the bottom of the sixth. Cooprider capped an outstanding day at the plate by leading off with a hard single through the right side. She moved to third on Beinecke’s single, which was accompanied by a Bowdoin error. Keenan’s single up the middle brought home Cooprider to end the game.

DiBiase struck out two and did not walk a batter while improving to 8-1 on the season. She recorded eight outs on grounders and seven on fly balls. Joining Cooprider to lead Tufts offensively were Beinecke (3 for 4, two rbis, run) and Keenan (2 for 3, three rbis, run).

Polar Bears junior Melissa Della Torre (Scarborough, ME) suffered the pitching loss, giving up fiive hits in 2.2 innings. She allowed five runs, but only two were earned. Bowdoin made four errors in the game.

Bowdoin 5, Middlebury 1

MEDFORD, Mass. — Junior catcher Casey Correa doubled in the fifth and sixth innings to spur Bowdoin to a 5-1 come-from-behind victory over Middlebury on Saturday in game five of the 2013 NESCAC Softball Championship. The victory put the Polar Bears into the finals on Sunday.

Trailing 1-0, Bowdoin (30-13) scored three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to earn the win. They will face host Tufts in game six of the NESCAC Championship at 10 am on Sunday. The Polar Bears will need to win twice to take the title, with an if necessary game seven included.

Correa doubled with one out in the fifth inning and then went to third on a wind-aided double by sophomore LF Siena Mitman which looked like it might be caught. After a strikeout, Polar Bears senior SS Toni DaCampo singled home both runs to give Bowdoin a 2-1 advantage. Senior CF Gen Barlow followed with a single up the middle scoring DaCampo and it was 3-1.

Bowdoin then led off the sixth with a single by sophomore 3B Adriane Krul. She was doubled to third by sophomore Victoria Rusch. Correa then drove a two-run double off the fence in left giving the Polar Bears a 5-1 margin.

That lead was safe behind the pitching of first-year Julia Geaumont, who overcome a Bowdoin error which put the lead Middlebury batter on base to open the seventh. She retired the side from there, putting the finishing touches on a complete game win. She allowed four hits and one run in seven innings for her 11th victory.

Middlebury had struck first in the second inning when junior 1B Emily Kraytenberg led off with a walk. She came around to score on a double by senior RF Sarah Boylan. Geaumont kept the Panthers off the bases for the most part from there, allowing just two hits and no walks the rest of the way.

Correa finished 2 for 3 with two rbis and a run for Bowdoin, while Barlow went 2 for 3 with an rbi. The Polar Bears had 10 hits overall, seven in the fifth and sixth combined.

Junior Elizabeth Morris took the loss for Middlebury (26-11), surrendering seven hits and three runs with five strikeouts in 5.2 innings.

Bowdoin 2, Wesleyan 0

MEDFORD, Mass. — Bowdoin junior pitcher Melissa Della Torre threw a four-hit shutout as the Polar Bear softball team stayed alive in the 2013 NESCAC Championship with a 2-0 victory over Wesleyan in game three of the tournament on Saturday morning at Tufts University’s Spicer Field.

Bowdoin (29-13) will play again on Saturday at 3 pm against the loser of game four between Tufts and Middlebury. Wesleyan (24-12) was eliminated after two well-played losses.

Bowdoin scored with the benefit of two walks and two passed balls in the bottom of the first. Sophomore 3B Adriane Krul came through with a two-out single up the middle to score junior 2B Hanna Wurgaft. A diving stop by Wesleyan junior 2B Amy Lindland saved a run on the play.

The Polar Bears pushed their lead to 2-0 in the third when senior CF Gen Barlow tripled to deep right field with two outs. First-year 1B Katie Gately followed by popping a perfectly-placed infield single over the third baseman’s head to score Barlow.

Wesleyan had scoring opportunities against Della Torre, but left eight runners on base. The Cardinals had base runners in six of seven innings, including four reaching second. However, Della Torre was able to work out of the situations. She struck out four and walked two while improving to 14-7.

Bowdoin outfielders made two nice plays to keep Wesleyan off the scoreboard in the third. Barlow made a diving catch in center field on Wesleyan sophomore 3B Lexi Parr for the second out. With runners on first and second later in the inning, sophomore LF Cielle Collins came in and snared a low line drive by senior catcher Ashley McLaren to end the inning.

Wesleyan starter Su Pardo pitched well in a losing effort for the second straight day. She allowed five hits and two runs (one earned) with seven strikeouts and two walks in six innings. With runners on second and third in the sixth, she made a nice play on a pop-up over her head to keep the Polar Bears from adding to their lead.

Gately, who finished 2 for 3 for Bowdoin, was the lone batter with multiple hits.

Women’s Lacrosse

Middlebury 11, Colby 10

HARTFORD, Conn. —- The seventh-ranked Colby College women’s lacrosse team had a hard starting the regular season game with third-ranked Middlebury College, but it was the ending that hurt the Mules in a heartbreaking 11-10 loss in a New England Small College Athletic Conference semifinal Saturday at Trinity College.

The Mules, seeded fourth in the tourney, fall to 12-4 overall. Colby is likely to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament when the pairings are announced Sunday at 9:30 p.m. Middlebury moves to 15-1 overall and will take on Trinity in the NESCAC title game Sunday at noon.

Colby stunningly fell behind 12-0 early in the second half of a home game against Middlebury two weeks ago. The Mules made sure that would not happen again by taking a 6-1 lead at one point in the first half and settled for an 8-5 margin at intermission. Colby pushed the lead to 10-6 with 22:43 to play, but the Panthers did not allow a goal the rest of the way and had a five-goal run to pull out the win.

The Mules fell behind 6-0 in the opening seven minutes of the home game against Middlebury, but Colby came out ready to play Saturday. Katharine Eddy scored unassisted just 45 seconds into the game for an important confidence score.

Colby tallied three times in a span of about three minutes to take a 4-0 lead. Tess Petesch made it 2-0 off an assist from Eddy, first-year Abby Hooper tallied from Abby Hatch, and Lindsey McKenna scored the first of her three goals with 20:51 to play.

After a Middlebury goal by Emma Kramer with 19:45 remaining, Eddy scored on another unassisted goal with 18:20 left and Kate Pistel buried a free-position shot just 18 seconds later for a 6-1 margin.

Middlebury chipped away at the lead on three straight goals to make it 6-4 with 8:50 to play to halftime. Margaret Souther had back-to-back scores and NESCAC leading scorer Ellen Halle had the third goal.

Colby answered with two goals, the first from McKenna off a pass from Petesch with 5:30 to play and from Hilary Barr on the second of three assists from Eddy with 42 seconds left. Souther, though, tallied for the third time in the half with just five seconds to play for a momentum changer for the Panthers.

Kramer made it 8-6 just 39 seconds into the second half from Halle. The Mules settled down and pushed the lead up to 10-6 on goals from McKenna off a dish from Pistel and Alex Mintz from Eddy with 22:43 left.

Kramer scored her third goal for the Panthers with 19:36 remaining to start the comeback. Halle tallied on a free-position shot with 13:05 remaining, while Souther added her fourth goal to cut the margin to one with 9:51 left. Laurel Pascal tied the game with a free-position shot with 7:27 remaining and Souther capped off a five-goal day with an unassisted game-winning score with 2:51 to go.

Middlebury was able to control play for most of the final 2:51, with Colby resorting to fouling in attempts to cause a turnover.

Michelle Burt stopped nine shots in 52:33 of play and added three ground balls and two caused turnovers for Colby. Claire Dickson played the final 7:27 for the Mules and did not have a stop.

Eddy had four draw controls to go along with her two goals and three assists. She has 21 goals and 30 assists for a team-best 51 points. Meg Mooney added three ground balls and one caused turnover, while Hatch had three draw controls. Brittany Chin finished with three ground balls, McKenna had two ground balls and one caused turnover, and Lisa Hoopes had two draw controls.

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