WESTON, Mass. - The Regis (Mass.) softball team concluded its 2017 regular season on Saturday afternoon by splitting a New England Collegiate Conference double header against Becker College at Regis Field. The Hawks took game one by a final score of 1-0, before the Pride rebounded to take game two 2-0.
With the split, the Pride moves to 15-11 on the season, and 13-5 in the NECC. Becker moves to 18-16 overall, with a 12-4 record in NECC play.
Before the game, the Pride honored its five players from the Class of 2017, celebrating their final home regular season game as members of the Pride. Seniors Jenna Casello (Westborough, Mass.), Allison Caloggero (Medford, Mass.), Rachel Tortora (Malden, Mass.), Taylor Arcuri (Newton, Mass.) and Kelsey Morton (South Portland, Maine) were joined by their families on the field for the celebration.
Both pitchers, the Pride's Madi McLellan (Fremont, N.H.) and Becker's Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn.) were locked in once game one got under way, and from early on it was clear that one run might be all it took to decide a winner. A lead-off double from Regis sophomore Brianna Napoleone (Medford, Mass.) would prove to be the only offense the Pride could muster until the seventh inning, as Lee retired 18 of the next 20 Pride batters, only allowing Casello to reach base on a pair of walks.
Meanwhile, McLellan found herself dealing as well. The rookie struck out 11 in game number one, and the only run of the game was unearned. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Lee reached base on an error, advanced to second on a hit by pitch, and scored as an RBI single from sophomore Vasia Murphy (Dracut, Mass.).
Freshman Ellery Rasmussen (Kingston, N.H.) led off the top of the seventh with the Pride's second hit of the afternoon after lining one through the left side of the infield. Caloggero appeared to have a sure base hit following Rasmussen's single, but Becker shortstop Megan Klemanchuck (Pawtucket, R.I.) came up with a diving stop on a shot up the middle before flipping it to second base to retire pinch runner Gabrielle Cammarata (Revere, Mass.) for the first out. The Pride was able to get Caloggero to second, but could advance her no further, giving the Hawks the victory.
Lee allowed just two hits while striking out two in the shut out win to improve to 11-9 on the season. McLellan's record fell to 9-7 with the loss, despite allowing just three hits and no earned runs while striking out 11.
The rookie picked up right where she left off in a must-win game two, this time dualing with Becker's Samantha Belenchia (Ansonia, Conn.). The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning, when Amanda Navarro (Stoneham, Mass.) brought in the Pride's first run of the afternoon, driving home Napoleone with a one-out double to make it 1-0 Regis.
1-0 was still the score when Navarro next stepped into the box in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs in the inning, the junior singled to centerfield, scoring Morton to extend the Pride's lead to two and give McLellan more than enough run support than she would need.
McLellan allowed just one hit in game two, a two-out out double by Lee in the top of the first inning, who advanced no further, as McLellan struck out Klemanchuck looking to end the threat. The freshman would allow just one more baserunner the rest of the way on a walk, as she struck out 13 to pick up her 10th win of the year. Belenchia was credited with the loss, allowing two earned runs on eight hits in six innings pitched. Her record falls to 7-7 with the loss.
The Pride will await tomorrow's results to determine their opponent in the first round of the NECC Tournament on Tuesday night, while Becker will conclude its regular season with a home double header on Sunday against Bay Path.