LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Becker College softball team rallied to win both games of their New England Collegiate Conference double-header against visiting Elms College on Sunday at Russell Field in Leicester, winning 11-3 in the first and 7-4 in the second.
The Hawks of Becker (17-11, 11-3 NECC) strengthen their hold on second place in the conference standings while the Blazers of Elms (10-15, 7-5 NECC) drop to fifth place with just a week to go in the season.
In the first game, Becker found itself down three after a second inning that saw Elms' junior catcher Tea Sullivan (Dracut, Mass./Greater Lowell Regional) blast a three-run home run to straight-ahead center to put the visitors ahead 3-0. That was the score in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Hawks' lineup exploded. Becker hit three straight RBI singles from junior catcher Megan Klemanchuck (Pawtucket, R.I. / William E. Tolman), junior first baseman Samantha Belenchia (Ansonia, Conn. / Ansonia) and senior pitcher Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn. / Woodland). Three batters later, Belenchia scored on a fielder's choice as Becker took their first lead of the game. Sophomore second baseman Lauren Niemann (Bay Shore, N.Y. / Bay Shore) drove in two more runs on the next at-bat, and freshman shortstop Sarah Ellis (Berkley, Mass. / Bristol County Agricultural)'s RBI single drove in junior Brianna Herforth (Peru, Mass. / Wahconah Regional). On the very next at-bat, senior centerfielder Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass. / Amherst) went yard for her fourth home run of the season, driving in three more runs for an incredible ten-run fourth inning by the Hawks. In the bottom of the fifth, Lee used a solo shot to put Becker ahead by eight, bringing game one to a close. Lee was strong in the circle, striking out six and allowing just two earned runs in five innings for the Hawks.
In game two, Becker once again found themselves in a hole early as Elms went ahead 2-0 in the top of the first. Senior third baseman Elizabeth Olszewski (Canterbury, Conn. / Griswold) hit an RBI sacrifice fly while junior centerfielder Kayla Doherty (Plaistow, N.H. / Timberlane Regional) scored off an error. Klemanchuck answered for the Hawks in the bottom of the first with an RBI single, cutting the lead to 2-1. In the bottom of the third, Carkhuff doubled to left to score Ellis, tying the game, and would later score on an error by the Blazers to give the home team the lead. The bottom of the fourth was again a big inning for Becker, as the Hawks loaded the bases with no outs with the top of their order coming to the plate. Ellis was hit by a pitch to score Niemann. Carkhuff reached on an RBI fielder's choice, bringing home senior Jennifer Boxell (Marlborough, Mass. / Marlborough), and then Klemanchuck doubled home Ellis to put Becker ahead 6-2. Olszewski tried to bring Elms back in the top of the fifth with a two run blast to left, but Becker picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth off a solo shot from Belenchia.
Ellis finished the day going four-for-six with three doubles and two RBI. Carkhuff tallied three hits and a team-best five RBI. The duo batted 1-2 in the order for the Hawks in both games.
Becker is back on the field on Tuesday when they play host to Clark University in a non-conference double-header beginning at 3:00 p.m. Elms plays their next two games at Anna Maria College on Monday at 3:00 p.m.
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