Lesley softball splits with Elms

Lesley softball splits with Elms

Story courtesy of Chris Attwood, Elms College Sports Information Director

CHICOPEE, Mass. – Elms College junior pitcher Ani Ramsdell (Gardner, Mass.) struck out four batters in a complete game effort in the second game, while Lesley University's Jodi Fralick (Woburn, Mass.) smashed two homers in game one to help the sides to a split in Tuesday afternoon's New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) softball doubleheader at Cheryl R. Condon Field.

Elms now improves to 13-15 on the season, 10-2 in league play, while Lesley moves to 17-10 overall, 10-1 in conference action.

Game One – Lesley 15, Elms 7 (6 innings)

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the fourth, Lesley exploded for nine runs, highlighted by a three-run triple to right center field from Georgia Saltzman (Lynn, Mass.). Jenna Fralick (Woburn, Mass.), Emily Mangiaratti (Amherst, Mass.), Alyson Durben (Stow, Mass.) and Ashley Cunningham (Mountain Top, Pa.) each registered RBI base hits in the productive frame, while Jessica Guevara (Nantucket, Mass.) reached on an Elms miscue to allow a run to score and help the Lynx post an eight-run advantage.

Elms answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth when freshman first baseman Sarah Buckley (Wilbraham, Mass.) and sophomore left fielder Marlene DiRaimo (Cranston, R.I.) led off the frame with back-to-back singles before sophomore pitcher Courtney Hampton (Westfield, Mass.) crushed a three-bagger to right field. Junior designated player Destinee Meeker (Bantam, Conn.) drove Hampton home with a base hit to left field before a strikeout and a fielder's choice out halted the rally with the score 9-4.

Jodi Fralick cracked a two-run homer in the top of the fifth to extend the lead to 11-4, and then launched her second two-run blast an inning later as part of a three-run sixth inning to give Lesley a 15-4 cushion.

Elms answered in the bottom of the sixth when Hampton reached on a one-out fielder's choice and then scored from first when Meeker smacked a double to right field. A wild pitch advanced Meeker to third before an RBI single by senior catcher Tiffany Williams (Berlin, Conn.) plated the second run of the frame for the Blazers. Senior right fielder Kim Lastowski (Turners Falls, Mass) then delivered a base hit to right field, sending Williams to third for sophomore shortstop Jenna Lipscomb (Cambridge, Mass.) who pounded out an infield RBI single, cutting Elms' deficit to eight at 15-7. From there, a fly out ended the inning and gave the Lynx a 15-7 six-inning mercy rule victory.

Lesley's starting pitcher Cassandra Knox (Sea Cliff, N.Y.) fanned three batters en route to the complete-game victory and improve to 14-6 on the season. Hampton suffered the complete-game loss for Elms and moves to 8-6 overall.

Mangiaratti, Jodi Fralick and Cunningham each had three hits in game one for Lesley, while Jodi Fralick and Saltzman combined to drive in seven of the Lynx's 14 runs.

Meeker finished with three hits and two RBI, while Lastowski added a pair of hits in the losing effort.

Game Two – Elms 7, Lesley 2

Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Williams led off the stanza with a single up the middle and then advanced to second on a one-out sacrifice bunt by Lipscomb. Sophomore Jen Killion (Cambridge, Mass.) who entered as a pinch-runner for Williams, scored to knot the game at 2-2 when senior second baseman Ally Graffum (Ipswich, Mass.) reached on an errant throw by the pitcher and raced all the way to third on the play. Following a walk to Buckley, a wild pitch sent Graffum home with the go-ahead run, giving the Blazers a 3-2 edge. Butt then drew a two-out free pass but a groundout got Lesley out of the jam.

Elms crossed the dish four more times in the home half of the sixth inning when a Meeker single, and back-to-back walks issued to Williams and Lastowski loaded the bases for Lipscomb who drove in a run thanks to a misplay in the outfield. Graffum followed with a sacrifice fly to center field before Buckley cleared the sacks with a two-run triple to right center field, lifting the Blazers lead to 7-2.

Ramsdell, who tossed five scoreless innings, kept Lesley off the board in the seventh to preserve her second complete-game win of the season and move to 2-9 overall. Knox pitched the first 5.1 in defeat for the Lynx and is now 14-7 on the season.

Graffum and Buckley drove in two runs apiece, while Meeker and Williams delivered two hits each in the winning effort for the Blazers.

Lesley plated a run in the second inning and again in the third to stake a 2-0 lead, before Elms cut the lead in half with a run in the bottom of the third.

Cunningham tallied three of the Lynx's six hits in the game two loss.

Elms returns NECC doubleheader action on Friday, April 30 when it hosts Mitchell College at Cheryl R. Condon Field. First-pitch of game one is set for 3:00 p.m.