NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mitchell College salvaged a softball split with Bay Path University on Saturday afternoon, rebounding from an 11-7 loss in the opener to post a 12-6 win in the nightcap in New England Collegiate conference action at Alumni Field.
Bay Path picked up its first conference win of the year in the first game, rallying for five runs in the seventh inning to snap a 6-6 deadlock. Kayla Vance provided the crushing blow with a three-run homer to left, one of her four hits in the twin bill.
In the second game, the score was again knotted at 6-6 when Mitchell pulled ahead for good with four runs in the fifth. Suzanne Vachon, who also picked up the win in the circle, plated the go-ahead run with a single up the middle.
Prior to the game the Mariners honored three seniors–Vachon, Taylor Duchesneau and Paige Aguilar–in a special ceremony. All three finished with a hit on the day, with Vachon contributing five to lead the charge.
Mitchell (11-20 overall, 4-10 NECC) will wrap up regular season play at Newbury College on Sunday, April 28 at 10 a.m. Bay Path (10-20 overall, 1-13 NECC) will next host Dean College on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Game 1 – Bay Path 11, Mitchell 7
Bay Path lit up the scoreboard first with a three-run fourth inning. Taylor Feraco got things started with a one-out double and scored on a single up the middle by Vance. Marissa Sarna-McCarthy later knocked in the second run with a double to right and scored on the play following a Mitchell error.
The Mariners got two runs back in the home half of the fourth thanks to a two-run homer by Alex Lopez, her team-leading third of the season. Mitchell then pulled ahead behind a four-run fifth inning in which Aguilar, Vachon and Kaitlin Thibodeau-Corey all plated runs.
The Wildcats evened things up in the sixth, scoring runs on singles by Meghan Connors and Noelle Bisignano and tying the game at 6-6 on a defensive error. Two additional Mitchell errors proved costly in the seventh, giving Bay Path two runners on base when Vance deposited a ball over the left-field fence. Madison Goodhart later tacked on a two-run single to extend the lead to 11-6.
Goodhart picked up the win to improve to 5-10 on the season. She yielded seven runs on 11 hits and struck out four in the complete-game effort.
Duchesneau took the loss for the Mariners, dropping to 5-12. She gave up 11 runs (five earned) on 13 hits and fanned five.
Game 2 – Mitchell 12, Bay Path 6
Bay Path struck for three runs in the first inning to grab an early lead. Connors delivered a two-run single to center and Lilly West followed with a single to right-center to make it 3-0.
Mitchell pushed across three runs in the bottom of the first to tie the game. A groundout by Thibodeau-Corey plated the first run, and both Sydney Oatway and Lopez scored on wild pitches to make it 3-3.
A two-out, two-run single by Sarna-McCarthy gave the Wildcats back the lead in the second. The Mariners responded quickly once again, tying the game on a two-run double by Oatway and taking a 6-5 lead on an RBI double by Lopez.
An RBI single by Goodhart tied the game at 6-6 in the third. The Wildcats then put two runners in scoring position with two outs in the fourth, but Vachon escaped trouble to keep the game tied.
Mitchell loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth and pushed across four runs to go up 10-6. Vachon singled up the middle to bring home the first run, and after a hit batter forced in another, Oatway doubled to bring in the final two runs of the rally.
The Mariners widened the gap in the sixth behind a two-run single by Vachon that made it a 12-6 game. She then set the Wildcats down in order in the seventh to secure the victory.
Vachon surrendered six runs (four earned) on eight hits and struck out two to improve to 6-8 on the season. Vance took the loss and dropped to 5-9, allowing 12 runs on 14 hits while striking out six.