BIDDEFORD, Maine — Sydney Helmbrecht (Grand Rapids, Minn.) knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning as the University of New England rallied to defeat Bates College, 4-3, in the nightcap of a softball doubleheader on Tuesday (Apr. 18) at Bill Doran Field. The Bobcats took the opener by a 3-1 margin.
With a runner placed on second base to start the extra frame in GAME 2, Helmbrecht laced an 0-2 pitch to the wall in center field to send the Nor’easters (10-12 overall) into celebration. It was Big Blue’s only advantage of the day.
Helmbrecht also factored in the inning-ending double-play that got UNE out of a similar situation in the top of the 8th, fielding an unassisted out at first base before firing home to negate the potential go-ahead run for Bates (7-9 overall) trying to score from third base.
The Nor’easters trailed (3-2) entering the 7th, but after a lead-off, pinch-hit single by Sydnee Bessler (Everett, Mass.) and a sacrifice bunt, Sarah Lachapelle (Gilford, N.H.) supplied an RBI-single back up the middle to tie things up.
The Bobcats were the first to break into the scoreboard in the 2nd when Andrea Russo (Cheshire, Conn.) guided an RBI-single through the left side, and an error on the play opened the door for another run to cross.
That edge didn’t last long, as UNE leveled the contest (2-2) on a two-RBI single up the middle by Melissa Jakubowski (Danbury, Conn.). Tallying the initial run was Gabby Harrison (Kennebunk, Maine), who doubled earlier in the session.
Mimi Crowley (Barnstable, Mass.), already with a single and run to her credit, shifted the visitors back in front in the 3rd with a two-out RBI-single. Tori Fitgerald (Holliston, Mass.) notched the go-ahead marker after the first of her two singles.
The next four innings went scoreless, in spite of numerous chances both ways.
Jakubowski fanned five and surrendered two earned runs over 5.0 innings in a starting role, and Katelyn Austin (Bethlehem, N.H.) worked the ensuing 2.0 frames with a pair of strikeouts. Bessler needed just five pitches to exit the circle for UNE in the 8th and then claim the positive decision.
Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) absorbed the setback for Bates, giving up two earned runs with three strikeouts and no walks.
The Bobcats, who registered 10 singles to out-hit their opponent by two, received three from Russo.
Bates totaled 12 hits — again, all singles — during the GAME 1 victory. Pelletier was joined by Maddie Inlow (Falmouth, Maine), Sam Fellers (Mendham, N.J.), and Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) with two apiece.
Fitzgerald opened the scoring in the 1st, driving in Russo. Then, in the 3rd, back-to-back two-out hits from Pelletier and Russo with the bases loaded scored Julia Treadwell (Falmouth, Maine) and Crowley for a 3-1 lead.
Fellers was the triumphant pitcher for the Bobcats, and Pelletier tossed one clean inning for the save.
Helmbrecht had a team-high two hits for UNE, but it was hits by Avery Alberghini (Middlesex, Vt.) and Caroline Schoenbucher (Barrington, N.H.) that combined for the lone run in the last half of the 1st.
Attempting to chip away at the two-run deficit in the 5th and 6th, the Nor’easters left a total of five runners aboard.
Bailey Tremblay (Saco, Maine) took the loss for the hosts, going 5.0 innings with three strikeouts. Melissa Sprague (Londonderry, N.H.) set-down the side in the following block, andSophia Burnham (Scarborough, Maine) kept the gap in tact during the final frame.