Softball Rallies to Split Conference Doubleheader with Western New England
BY TYLER MILLIKEN // April 10, 2017 //
Despite entering extra innings for the third time this month, Curry walked off winners of the first game to earn a split with third-ranked Western New England yesterday.
Junior Rebecca Black started in the circle for the Colonels to begin the day, and she went the distance for the second time this season. Across eight innings of work, Black surrendered four runs, but only one was earned. She picked up her third win of the season while lowering her earned run average to 2.60.
The Golden Bears struck early against Black, as they tallied two runs in the second inning. A passed ball by freshman catcher Michaela Colleran allowed the first run to score before WNE manufactured another run via a groundout to shortstop.
In the bottom of the third, Curry answered right back and took the lead with the help of three hits with runners in scoring position.
Juniors Mikayla Lambert and Kevi Oatway started the rally, by mashing almost identical singles up the middle, to score senior captains Marissa Bruno and Mikayla Korona on back-to-back plays. It was then the junior first baseman, Rachel Byrd, gave the Colonels the lead with an RBI double to right field.
The Golden Bears tied the game at three in the top of the sixth, but that was the end of the scoring for the next two innings, sending Curry to extras for the second time in as many days.
Momentum began to swing Western New England’s way in the eighth after Gabby Lavinio lifted a sac fly to center to put the pressure on the home team.
Junior Morgan Bogardus made the last out in the seventh and was placed on second base to begin the eighth inning when freshman Hanna Fleming placed a bunt down the first baseline to put runners on the corners.
Bruno then sent a hard ground ball to shortstop, but Bogardus was cut down at home for the first out of the inning.
Korona stepped up to the plate next, and nearly ended the game with one swing. With the wind blowing out, Korona smoked a ball off the top of the right field wall, barely missing a home run. Fleming scampered home to equalize the game while Bruno strode into third and Korona took second standing up.
Junior second baseman Mikayla Lambert drew a walk to load the bases before classmate Kevi Oatway singled to center and brought the Colonels out of the dugout to mob the heroine.
Once the celebration slowed down, Oatway provided some insight into her thought process before heading up to bat.
“When they walked Mikayla, it was kinda like [them saying] ‘she’s better than the girl after her.’ So, I wanted to get up there and prove myself,” Oatway noted. “I was going in, knowing I was gonna get a hit.”
The victory itself marked Curry’s fourth walk-off win of the season and entering the second game, the Colonels were buzzing with energy.
Unfortunately, Curry’s biggest weakness of the 2017 season decided to reappear again.
Lambert started her tenth game of the season in the second part of the day’s doubleheader and she cruised through the first five innings before giving up two hits to start the sixth.
Senior McKenna Barlow entered the scoreless game and promptly struck out the first batter she faced. However, after inducing a ground ball, Bruno misfired from third base and one run came across unearned. Another groundout saw another Golden Bear score before one more ground ball got the Colonels back to the dugout.
Curry fell silent offensively though, as the second game came to an end. Only four hits were registered for the home team, all of them providing singles.
WNE’s pitcher Samantha DiGiovanni dominated, picking up the complete-game shutout. She kept the Colonels off balance while consistently changed speeds.
Picking up a win and loss against the Golden Bears gives Curry a 10-12 overall record. In the Commonwealth Coast Conference, the Colonels now sit at 5-5, marking an improvement upon last year’s Conference win total.
After the game Head Coach Bruce Weckworth put the game in perspective for the girls in their last year.
“These seniors have never beaten Western New England. Even a split now, is such a signature win in the conference,” Weckworth remarked. “A win like this, over one of the best teams in the conference, validates who we are.”
Korona harped upon the same points as her coach.
“We’re making some noise in the conference. Other teams will see we split with the best team,” Korona added. “It’s a good feeling to come off of a win; it was a crappy feeling to come off of two losses yesterday.”
Curry was rewarded with a day off on Monday and will return to action the 11th as they travel to Suffolk University for a non-conference doubleheader starting at 4 p.m.