Nichols Spoils Softball's Home Finale

Nichols Spoils Softball's Home Finale

BOSTON, Mass. – The Nichols College softball team snapped a three-game losing streak as the Bison swept Wentworth Institute of Technology in Commonwealth Coast Conference play Sunday afternoon. The Bison (12-12, 6-6 CCC) took the opener 8-5 and completed the sweep with an 8-1 win over the Leopards (4-19, 0-12) in the nightcap.

Game One: Nichols 8, Wentworth 5
Nichols put four runs on the board through the first two frames to give them the 4-0 edge. Sophomore Kendall Meehan (Danvers, Mass.) got Nichols started in the top of the first with a double into right center and plated the game's first run on junior Christina Drake's (Lebanon, N.H.) RBI single into left. The Bison went up 2-0 after one when Drake plated on a wild pitch.

Junior Meghan Sears (Tewksbury, Mass.) kicked off the second frame with a ground rule double into right center and later scored Nichols' third run on a muffed throw that was followed by a sacrifice fly to center from Meehan to bring the score to 4-0 Nichols.

Wentworth answered with a three-run bottom of the second to cut the score to one at 4-3. Senior Heather Pinkston (Concord, Calif.) sent a single into right field and advanced sophomore Vanessa Weymouth (Fremont, N.H.) to second. With two outs, sophomore Megan Berryman (Middleboro, Mass.) rocketed a double into the right field gap to score Weymouth for Wentworth's first run. In the next at-bat, freshman Hayley Rutkey (Burnt Hills, N.Y.) sent a two-RBI single into right that plated Berryman and Pinkston.

In the top of the third, Nichols added on two more runs to extend its lead to 6-3. After sophomore Brianna Kilborn reached third on a wild pitch, junior Christina Barrows (Carver, Mass.) rocketed an RBI triple down the right field line to plate Kilborn for the go-ahead run. Barrows crossed home for the Bison's fifth run on a throwing error.

Over the course of the fifth and sixth frames, Nichols added an additional two runs to give itself an 8-3 advantage over Wentworth. Sophomore Kasey Ayer (Niantic, Conn.) scored the seventh Bison run on a ground out to the first baseman in the fifth and drove in the eighth run on a ground rule double into left center.

The Leopards began to chip away at Nichols' lead and got the score to within three at the end of six. Freshman Libby White (Pittsfield, Mass.) sent a double down the left field line and cut the lead in half at 8-4 on Sawyer's two-bagger. Sophomore Rachel Willcutt (Tilton, N.H.) followed up with a single into center to plate white for the fifth Wentworth run.

Junior Kelsey Gorski (Killingworth, Conn.) got on base for Wentworth with a two-out infield single to shortstop in the home half of the seventh, but could not advance as a ground ball to third wrapped up the 8-5 win for Nichols.

Senior Hayley Fountain (Warren, Mass.) earned the win and pitched seven innings and allowed five runs on 11 hits with two walks and eight strikeouts. Meehan, Drake, Ayer and Barrows led Nichols, going for a combined 8-for-14 with five runs scored, four RBI, one triple and two doubles.

Rutkey was tagged with the loss and allowed seven runs (four earned) on eight hits through 4.2 innings with two strike outs and three walks. Freshman Erica Norquist (Rutland, Mass.) pitched 2.1 relief innings and allowed one run on three hits and one strikeout. Willcutt led the Black & Gold and went 3-for-4 with one RBI, while Sawyer went 2-for-3 with a double, one run scored and one RBI, Pinkston went 2-for-4 with one run scored and Berryman went 1-for-4 with a double and one RBI.

Game Two: Nichols 8, Wentworth 1
Nichols scored four times in the first two innings to give the Bison a quick 4-0 lead. Freshman Zoe Chevrette (Wilbraham, Mass.) doubled into the right field gap that plated the first Bison run and was followed up by a single from Fountain to bring the score to 2-0. On back-to-back hits to begin the second, two more runs scored on a triple by Meehan into right field and an error.

Wentworth got a run back in the home half of the fourth on freshman Emily Winter's (Stratford, Conn.) RBI infield single. The Leopards threatened for more with the bases full, but a ground out closed out the inning with the lead now 4-1 Nichols.

The Bison put the game away in the top of the sixth with a four-run attack on five hits. Meehan reached on a fielder's choice to begin the inning and advanced to second on a single up the middle from Drake to put runners at first and second. Back-to-back doubles into right center from Ayer and Chevrette knocked in three runs to put the score at 7-1 and was followed up by a single from Fountain to give Nichols the 8-1 cushion.

Sears silenced the Wentworth bats through the final two innings and helped Nichols take the game two 8-1 victory.

Sears earned the win for Nichols as she pitched seven innings and allowed one run on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Chevrette led the Bison and went 3-for-4 with, three doubles, two runs scored and three RBI. Drake also went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI and Fountain went 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Norquist took the loss for Wentworth and allowed six runs on 13 hits through seven innings and had two strikeouts. Berryman, Winter and Weymouth led the Leopards going for a combined 3-for-8 with three singles, one RBI and one run scored.

On Wednesday, Wentworth will head to Curry at 3:30 p.m., while Nichols returns home to face Worcester State that same day.