HENNIKER, N.H. – The New England College softball team tied a program record for wins in a single season after sweeping the Nighthawks of Newbury College on Senior Day in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play, Saturday afternoon.
Score: New England College 12, Newbury College 4 Six Innings(Game One)
New England College 8, Newbury College 0 Six Innings (Game Two)
Records: Pilgrims (24-6, 12-2 NECC) | Nighthawks (10-25, 3-11 NECC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Game One – New England College 12, Newbury College 4
Newbury capitalized on two Pilgrim mistakes in the first inning. They managed to only cross the plate one time and left one runner on base. NEC quickly responded in the bottom half of the inning. Alexa Scribner reached on a bunt single and then stole second base and third base during Chanel Welch's at-bat. Welch did single through the left side to score Scribner. Destiny Helmedach grounded out which advanced Welch before Daelyn Ross ripped a double down the left field line to score Welch. Taylor Dill would earn a sacrifice fly to score Ross and gave the Pilgrims a 3-1 lead at the end of the first inning.
Both teams went three up, three down in the second inning before Newbury jumped out to a lead in the third inning. Arianna Gooden singled home a run before Caroline Mahoney hit a two-run home run to left field which gave the visitors a 4-3 lead. The Pilgrims once again responded quickly as Welch reached on a walk before two errors on the same plate allowed Helmedach to round the bases which gave the Pilgrims the lead for good. Yesenia Dominguez singled to center field to drive in a run before Shawnie Clark reached base on an error which scored Dominguez. Through three innings, the Pilgrims led 7-4.
Helmedach extended the NEC lead with a two-run home run that hit off the scoreboard in center field in the fourth inning. That marks her fourth home run of the season. The Pilgrims continued to roll offensively as Welch singled to score Gabriella Marcheschi and Scribner would later score on a wild pitch. In the sixth inning, Rachel Senechal singled down the left field line with runners in scoring position to plate the 12th run for the Pilgrims and gave them the eight-run lead to close out the contest.
Marcheschi earned her third win of the season after throwing 6.0 innings, allowing four hits and four runs, all of which were unearned.
Game Two – New England College 8, Newbury College 0
The Pilgrims jumped out to early lead as they posted five runs in the bottom of the first inning. Welch singled and stole second base before Helmedach walked. Ross doubled to left center field which scored both runners. Walks by Taylor Barbour and Aibhlin O'Connor loaded the bases. Both Barbour and Ross scored on a dropped fly ball, put in play by Emily Farone. Senechal singled to score O'Connor to cap off the hot start. The Nighthawks threatened in the top of the second inning as they managed to load the bases but Barbour worked her way out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout. Neither team got much offense through rest of the second, third inning, and top half of the fourth but the Pilgrims extended their lead in bottom of the fourth with a two-RBI single that scored Farone and Senechal. Helmedach tallied another RBI as she singled to left center field which gave the Pilgrims an eight run lead and their 24th victory on the season.
Barbour grabbed her 14th victory of the season after allowing five hits while striking seven batters over 6.0 innings of work.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-This was the sixth and seventh meetings all-time between the Pilgrims and Nighthawks. The Pilgrims now lead the series 4-3.
-The Nighthawks return to play tomorrow morning for Senior Day vs. Mitchell College starting at 10:00 a.m.