WESTFIELD, Mass. – The Becker College softball team spilt their non-conference doubleheader against Westfield State on Wednesday afternoon.
Becker College won the opening game, 2-1, as senior pitcher Kelsey Norberg (Uxbridge, Mass.) improved to 8-1 on the season with another strong performance in the circle.
Westfield State freshman Sarah Eugenio (Marshfield, Mass.) threw a three-hitter in the second game, leading the Owls to a 5-2 victory.
With the split, Westfield State moved to 7-14 on the season, while Becker College is now 11-9.
In the second game, Eugenio retired the first 10 hitters in order before allowing a single to Jen VanAlphen (Hudson, N.Y) in the fourth inning to break up the no-hitter. The Hawks did not get another hit until the seventh inning, when, trailing 5-0, they rallied for two runs, but Eugenio forced a groundout from first baseman Ashley Ciepela (Adams, Mass.) to end the game.
Freshman Sam Belenchia (Ansonia, Conn.) drove in both Becker runs in the seventh with a two-out double to left field, scoring Jess Wheelahan (Watertown, Conn.) and Adrianna Dowdy (East Haven, Conn.). Wheelahan singled to left field and Dowdy reached on a fielder's choice.
Westfield scored one run in the first inning on an infield single from Julia Sullivan (West Barnstable, Mass.), before giving Eugenio all the breathing room she needed with a three-run third inning.
Freshman shortstop Maddie Keigwin (Sutton, Mass.) led off the third inning with a double to left field, and after advancing to third base on a single from second baseman Sydney Ezold (Westfield, Mass.), later scored on a sacrifice fly from designated playerMichaela LeBlanc (Marblehead, Mass.).
With Ezold on third base, sophomore third baseman Maddy Atkocaitis (Westfield, Mass.) then hit a towering two-out home run to left field to give the Owls a 4-0 lead. Atkocaitis also ripped a double to the left field wall in the first inning before being thrown out at third base to end the inning.
The Owls added their fifth run in the sixth inning when pinch runner Julia Hebert (Auburn, Mass.) scored from second base on a ground ball single to right field from catcher Angelica Banning (E. Granby, Conn.).
Sophomore pitcher Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn.) took the loss for Becker, allowing five runs on nine hits. Eugenio struck out five and walked none in an impressive day in the circle.
The first game of the afternoon was a pitcher's duel between Norberg and Sullivan. Norberg surrendered one run on seven hits, striking out three and walking none. Sullivan allowed five hits and one earned run, while fanning five.
Second baseman Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass.) drove in both Becker runs in the game. In the second inning, with runners on first and second, Carkhuff singled to right field to plate Lee for the game's first run. Becker scored an unearned run in the fourth inning when Ciepela reached base on an error and her pinch runner, Kerrie Bellerose, advanced to third on a wild pitch; Carkhuff then scored Bellerose from third with a groundout to the pitcher to take a 2-0 lead.
Westfield State loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning with no outs, but Norberg worked her way out of trouble with two strikeouts sandwiching an infield fly.
The Owls tacked on a run in the fifth inning after Hebert led off with a triple to left field and scored on a Liz Kelly ground out, but couldn't add another run in the final two innings.