CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The Newbury Nighthawks are off to a 3-1 start in the New England Collegiate Conference after sweeping Sunday's two-game series with the Bay Path Wildcats by scores of 15-3 and 3-2 from PMC Park.
Game One: Newbury 15 – Bay Path 3 (Final – 5 Innings)
The Newbury Nighthawks matched their season-highs with 15 runs and 20 hits as the offense exploded for the dozen-run victory.
Every starter for the Nighthawks finished with a hit while seven of the nine batters had at least two hits. Junior Averi Johnson (Oregon City, Ore.) and freshman Kiana Hinson (La Habra, Calif.) both went a perfect 3-for-3. Junior Arianna Gooden (Bakersfield, Calif.) and freshman Caroline Mahoney (Easton, Mass.) both batted 3-for-4. Mahoney added three RBIs. Freshman Ambur Leczel (Glendora, Calif.) finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs.
Wildcats senior Katrina Peck (Newington, Conn.) batted 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Senior Jai Ruiz (Hadley, Mass.) went 2-for-2, both singles. Junior Taylor Feraco (Oxford, Mass.) and sophomore Kayla Vance (Clifton, N.J.) each went 1-for-2 with a run scored.
It was an 11-run outburst in the bottom of the second inning that led to the Nighthawks blowout win in game one.
The Nighthawks did most of their damage in the bottom of the second with two outs. Leading 6-1, the Nighthawks two-out rally included seven consecutive singles and seven runs scored. For the inning, the Nighthawks totaled 11 runs on 13 hits to lead 13-1 after two. Mahoney went 2-for-2 in the inning with three RBIs.
The Wildcats and Nighthawks traded two-run innings in the third. Bay Path scored their first on an RBI double by Peck. Later in the inning, Vance would score on a Nighthawks error, cutting the deficit to 13-3.
Newbury responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring on a double steal and a Leczel RBI single to reestablish their 12-run advantage.
Game Two: Newbury 3 – Bay Path 2
The second win of the day came in a tougher fashion for the Nighthawks but an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh by Caroline Mahoney scored Ambur Leczel, as the Nighthawks walked off with a 3-2 win and two-game sweep over the Wildcats.
Wildcats senior Madison Goodhart (Pawtucket, R.I.) batted 2-for-3, scoring twice for both Wildcat runs. Freshman Meghan Connors (Pawtucket, R.I.) went 1-for-3 for the only other hit for Bay Path in game two.
The Nighthawks led by a run entering the seventh, but couldn't close out the Wildcats in the top of the inning. Following a Goodhart double, sophomore Noelle Bisignano (Cranston, R.I.) grounded out to second to move Goodhart to third. Jai Ruiz stepped in and reached on a Nighthawks error, scoring Goodhart to tie the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Nighthawks began the inning with back-to-back singles by Leczel and Gooden. Mahoney would then step in and deliver the game-winning base hit to right field as Newbury walked off with the 3-2 win.
Hinson pitched a total of seven innings on the day for Newbury, four innings in the first game and three in the second game, picking up the win for both games to improve to 4-7 this season.
The sweep moves the Nighthawks to 6-15 (3-1 NECC) while the losses drop the Wildcats down to 3-11 (0-6 NECC).
Newbury returns to play on Wednesday, hosting NECC opponent Eastern Nazarene College for two games. First pitch for Lions and Nighthawks is set for 3:30 p.m.