Western New England notches 20th victory of 2017 campaign
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (April 20, 2017) – The Western New England University softball team broke out offensively in game two of a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) doubleheader against Nichols College to salvage a split with the Bison on Thursday afternoon at Golden Bear Park. Western New England was limited to three hits in a 5-2, game one loss, before rolling to a 10-0, five-inning triumph in game two.
Nichols 5, Western New England 2
• Senior Katie Wood (Westport, Mass.) accounted for one of Western New England's three hits in the opener and drove in both of the team's runs with a single in the bottom of the fourth inning.
• Senior Gabby Lavinio (Dalton, Mass.) and junior Jenn Luba (Plymouth, Conn.) also had one hit each for the Golden Bears.
• Freshman Alexis Ferris (Holyoke, Mass.) was impressive in the circle for the Bison, striking out five batters and allowing just two runs on three hits over a complete game performance.
• Junior Kendall Meehan (Danvers, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI, while sophomore Callie Andrews (Southbridge, Mass.) posted a 3-for-3 effort and senior Christina Drake (Lebanon, N.H.) drove in two runs.
• Sophomore Jessica Kuelling (Gales Ferry, Conn.) staked Nichols to a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the first, and the Bison claimed a 3-0 advantage the following inning on a two-run single to center field by Drake.
• The visitors tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth, the second of which scored on an RBI single by Meehan.
• Western New England got back into the game in the bottom half of the inning, as Wood recorded a two-out, two-run single to center field to cut the Golden Bears' deficit to 5-2, but they would get no closer.
• Ferris surrendered just one hit the rest of the way as the Bison held on for the game one win.
Western New England 10, Nichols 0 (5 Innings)
• Freshman Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) powered Western New England's offensive surge in game two, as she went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Luba also homered as part of a 2-for-2 effort with four RBI, while sophomore Giovanna Russo (East Haven, Conn.) recorded a two-run double.
• Freshman pitcher Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) got the start and improved to 8-2 this season after allowing just one hit over four innings of work.
• Western New England jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Kistner, an RBI groundout by Uliase, and a two-run double to left field off the bat of Russo.
• Kistner and Luba both belted two-run homers in the bottom of the second as the Golden Bears doubled their advantage.
• A two-run single by Luba in the fourth extended Western New England's lead to 10-0.
• Senior Samantha DiGiovanni (Shirley, N.Y.) came on in relief of Uliase in the fifth and closed the door on the Bison to seal the win for the Golden Bears.
• Luba went a combined 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI over the two games.
• Western New England's game two win marks the 20th victory of the season for the Golden Bears. The program has won 20+ games in each of the last five seasons and 17 of the last 18 overall.
Western New England (20-8, 10-4 CCC) hosts Roger Williams for a key CCC doubleheader on Saturday at noon in a battle of two teams tied for second place in the conference standings. The Golden Bears will recognize their five seniors prior to the start of the contest. Nichols (13-14, 5-9 CCC) returns home to host Gordon on Monday.