NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College and Nichols College split a softball doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action at Alumni Field.
Mitchell took the opener by a 5-0 final as Shyla Phillips-Krick tossed a two-hit shutout and struck out six. Nichols bounced back for an 8-7 victory in the second game, which was called in the bottom of the seventh inning due to darkness. The Bison erased a 5-2 deficit behind a four-run fifth inning and never trailed again.
Mitchell (12-18 overall) will next host Newbury College on Friday, April 27 at 3 p.m. Nichols (14-17-1 overall) will next play at Curry College in the opening round of the 2018 CCC Championship Tournament on Friday at 3 p.m.
Game 1 – Mitchell 5, Nichols 0
A two-run double by Italia Krick gave Mitchell a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The Mariners added to the margin with three runs in the fifth, the first coming on a double by Danielle Autieri and the final two on a double by Megan Elphick.
Phillips-Krick pitched around a double by Kendall Meehan in the first to keep Nichols off the scoreboard. The Bison threatened again in the third, loading the bases with two outs, but Phillips-Krick once again escaped unscathed.
Autieri, Krick and Kaitlin Thibodeau-Corey each finished with a pair of hits in the contest.
Nichols starter Alexis Ferris allowed five runs on eight hits over 4.2 innings and struck out three. She dropped to 9-9 on the season.
Game 2 – Nichols 8, Mitchell 7
A Mitchell fielding error in the first inning resulted in a run for the Bison, who then added a second the following inning on an RBI infield single by Courtney Manarky. The 2-0 lead lasted until the third, when the Mariners got a solo homer from Laurissa Amaker and then took the lead on a Nichols throwing error that allowed two runs to score.
Autieri and Elphick supplied back-to-back singles to start the Mitchell fourth. The former scored on an error before Amaker plated the latter with a single down the left-field line to make it 5-2.
Nichols rallied back with four runs in the fifth to retake the lead. The first six batters all reached base safely, and the Bison tied the game on a single through the right side of the infield by Jessica Kuelling. After Phillips-Krick looked like she might escape a bases-loaded, no-outs jam after getting a pair of fly balls, she then hit a batter to force in the go-ahead run.
RBI singles by Cara Mayhew and Kuelling extended the Nichols lead to 8-5 in the sixth, but Mitchell answered back with two in the home half to keep it close. In the seventh, the Mariners put the tying run on second base with only one out before the umpires called the game due to darkness.
Kuelling went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI to lead the Bison while Meehan finished with a pair of doubles. Autieri paced Mitchell with three hits, the last of which was the 100th of her career.
Jessica Soucie picked up the win, allowing seven runs (four earned) on nine hits over 5.2 innings. She improved to 2-1 on the season. Shannon Morin, who got the Bison out of a tight spot in the sixth, earned her first save of the year.
Phillips-Krick (6-10 overall) took the loss in the nightcap, tossing 5.0 innings of relief.