LEICESTER, Mass.- The Becker College softball team swept Mitchell College in a New England Collegiate Conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon with scores of 8-7 and 10-2. The sweep lifts the Hawks record to 17-9 (10-0 NECC), while the Mariners sink to 6-20 (5-7 NECC).
Becker jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With runners on second and third, Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn.) cleared the bases with a double into the left centerfield gap. After a Brianna Herforth (Peru, Mass.) infield single put runners on the corners, Brittany Fiederlein (East Hampton, Conn.) uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Lee to scamper home.
Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass.) gave the Hawks a 4-0 lead when she led off the bottom of the second with a homerun over the left field fence. Jennifer VanAlphen (Hudson, N.Y.) and Jessica Wheelahan (Watertown, Conn.) then belted back-to-back doubles to put the hosts in front 5-0.
The Mariners came storming back with three runs in the top of the fourth. Shannon O'Neil (Chicopee, Mass.) got the inning started with a solo homerun to centerfield. After Jenny Groman (New Britain, Conn.) and Jacquelyn White (Danville, Vt.) reach with a pair of singles, Taylor Duchesneau (Killingly, Conn.) emptied the bases with a double to right, cutting the Hawks lead to 5-3.
Mitchell completed the comeback in the top of the fifth when O'Neil belted a two-run blast over the right centerfield fence, knotting the game at 5-5.
The scored remained the same until the bottom of the sixth when Becker tallied three runs. Jaclyn Orangio (Maynard, Mass.) got the inning started when she reach on bunt. After VanAlphen sacrificed Orangio over to second base, Wheelahan gave the Hawks the lead with double into the right centerfield gap. After a fly out by Megan Klemanchuck (Pawtucket, R.I.) bumped Wheelahan over to third base, a wild pitch would all her to score the Hawks seventh run. Lee would keep the inning alive with a two-out double to right. Herforth capped off the inning with an RBI single to right, upping the Becker lead to 8-5.
The Mariners refused to go down without a fight as they threaten with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Suzanne Vachon (East Harford, Conn.) and Samantha DelConte (Enfield, Conn.) started the inning with back-to-back singles. Fiederlein moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt, bringing the dangerous O'Neil to the plate. The Hawks pitched around O'Neil, putting the tying run on base. Groman followed with a blooper down the right field line, scoring Vachon to make the score 8-6. After Danielle Autieri (North Salem, N.Y.) brought the Mainers within a run with a sacrifice fly to center, Becker pitcher Kelsey Norberg (Uxbridge, Mass.) struck the next batter out to preserve the 8-7 victory.
Norberg earned her 11th victory of the season, while Fiederlein suffered the loss for the Mariners.
Megan Klemanchuck put Becker on the board in the top of the first when brought home Jennifer VanAlphen with a triple into the right centerfield gap. Becker's game two pitcher Samantha Lee helped her own cause by singling home Kelmanchuck to put the Mariners in an early 2-0 hole.
Mitchell put a run on the board in the top of the second when they took advantage of Becker miscues in the field to cut the Hawks lead to 2-1.
The Hawks were able to scratch across a run in the bottom of the third on a Brianna Herforth RBI single, scoring Klemanchuck to make the score 3-1.
In bottom of the fourth the Hawks were able to score two runs without registering a hit. Jennifer Boxell (Marlborough, Mass.) made her way to first on an error to start the inning. Jaclyn Orangio then made her way around the bases when the attempt to throw her out at first on a groundball, sailed down the right field line, increasing the Becker lead to 5-1.
Becker upped their lead to 6-1 with run in the bottom of the fourth when Herforth scored from third on a wild pitch.
Mitchell was able to add a run on an RBI ground by Taylor Duchesneau in the top of the sixth to make the score 6-2, but Becker tacked on four runs in the bottom the inning to make the final 10-2.
Lee earned the victory after allowing two runs (zero earned) on five hits, while Duchesneau suffered the loss for Mitchell.
VanAlphen and Herforth led the Hawks with five hits on the day, while Lee turned in a four hit day with five RBI.
Groman paced the Mariners with five hits and a pair of runs, while O'Neil and Duchesneau drove in three runs apiece.
Both teams will continue NECC action on Tuesday, April 19th. Becker will travel to Bay Path University for a 3:30 p.m. start, while Mitchell hosts Wheelock College at 3:00 p.m.