CLERMONT, Fla. – The Worcester State University softball team opened up the 2017 campaign with a win against Southern Maine and a loss to No. 7 Linfield Sunday morning at the Legends Way Complex.
GAME ONE: WORCESTER STATE 6, SOUTHERN MAINE 0
Worcester State University's Mary McKeown (Shrewsbury, Mass.) pitched a complete game and earned the shutout as the Lancers downed Southern Maine University 6-0 in the season opener. In the seven innings pitched, McKeown allowed six hits and struck out two Southern Maine batters.
Rachel Couto (Chelmsford, Mass.) led the offense as she went 3-for-3 against Southern Maine's pitching. Also registering a 1.000 batting average was Sydney Despres (Sterling, Mass.) who went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Worcester's senior Courtney Salisbury (Cranston, R.I.) led the scoring with two runs as she batted .667 (2-3) with an RBI and a walk.
For the Huskies, Erin Martin went 2-for-2, while four others picked up one hit apiece to mark up the six hits.
The first hit of the game didn't come until the bottom of the 2nd inning when Couto opened the inning with a single up the middle. Following a fielder's choice and a strikeout, the Lancers were able to score three runs on an RBI single from Kaiulani Ennis (Swansea, Mass.), an RBI single from Salisbury, and a wild pitch.
The Huskies looked to fight back and loaded the bases in the next inning. However, they were unable to score a run as Couto notched a hit up the third base line and tagged the bag for the final out of the inning.
The Blue and Gold scored their remaining three runs in the bottom of the 4th inning on and RBI single from Despres, an RBI double to left center from Kayla Humphrey (Wallingford, Conn.), and a single from Couto.
GAME TWO: WORCESTER STATE 1, LINFIELD 16
The Worcester State softball team dropped their second contest of the day to No. 7 Linfield 16-1 as the Wildcats scored 16 runs on 17 hits and four Lancer errors.
Worcester State was first to reach the board in the top of the 1st when Despres hit her first homer of the year over the left field fence.
However, their lead vanished in the bottom half of the inning when Linfield scored five runs on five hits, including a 3-RBI triple from Erin Kinnery (Bainbridge Island, Wash.).
The Wildcats added to their lead in the 2nd inning when Cheyenne Fletcher (Selah, Wash.) and Melanie Oord (Kennewick, Wash.) hit back-to-back homers to start the inning, and Emily Allen (Tigard, Ore.) hit an RBI single.
Linfield added six more runs in the bottom of the third on five hits and two Worcester State errors, and chipped in two more runs in their last at bat in the bottom of the 4th inning.
Linfield's Brynn Lio (Wilsonville, Ore.) earned the win in a 3-inning performance, as she only allowed one hit (Despres' homer). Tanna Benson (Lynden, Wash.) closed out the game and held the Lancers to just one more hit, which came from Kaci Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) in the top of the 5th. Worcester State's Rachel Frisch (Worcester, Mass.) suffered her first loss of the season in a 1-inning performance.
The Lancers resume play tomorrow (Mar. 20) when they take on Plymouth State and Kalamazoo in another doubleheader starting at 9:00 a.m.