CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Lynx took both ends of the doubleheader with Elms College this afternoon in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action. With the pair of wins, Lesley jumps back to an even .500 at 17-17 and an impressive 13-1 in conference play while Elms falls to 9-17 on the year and 8-8 in the NECC.
Following the game, the Lynx celebrated and honored their four seniors Molly Sarson (Sanford, Me.), Rian Powers (Portland, Me.), Emily Mangiaratti (Amherst, Mass.), and Jessica Guevara (Nantucket, Mass.). The four have certainly left their mark on the program as they have led the Lynx to three conference championships, a 100-50 record, and an exceptional 62-2 NECC record.
In the first game of the afternoon, the Blazers got on the board first in the top of the second inning after loading the bases with no outs. Freshman Samantha Alvino (Holtsville, N.Y.) knocked in the first run when she grounded to third and junior Ally Witaszek (Feeding Hills, Mass.) crossed the plate on the throw across the diamond. Two batters later, senior Rachel Butt (Agawam, Mass.) drove in the second run of the inning when her single up the middle plated sophomore Gianna Gonyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) giving the Blazers an early 2-0 lead.
The score would stay like that until the Lynx got their bats going in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freshman Angela Mukai (Amherst, N.H.) led the inning off with a double and scored Lesley's first run of the game one batter later when classmate Jodee Doka (Sacramento, Calif.) sent an RBI single to right. After the Blazers record the second out of the inning on a fielder's choice, the Lynx used some two-out magic to take the lead. Junior centerfield Maria Nazzaro (North Reading, Mass.) started the rally with an RBI single to right that scored freshman Sydney Thayer (Reading, Mass.) before Mangiaratti knocked in two more runs with a single to left. Sarson connected for Lesley's third consecutive RBI hit of the inning when she sent a single to right that plated Mangiaratti. Junior catcher Allison Fountain (Cheshire, Conn.) capped the scoring in the inning when she blasted her second home run of the season over the left-centerfield fence.
Trailing 7-2, the Blazers put up three in the top of the fifth to climb back into it. After Butt and senior Sarah Buckley (Wilbraham, Mass.) each reached with one-out singles, freshman Taylor Skinner (South Windsor, Conn.) sent a double to deep left field, allowing both runners to score to cut the Lynx lead to 7-4. Skinner advanced to third base on a bunt single and scored the third run of the inning on a wild pitch.
The Lynx would push their lead to three in the bottom of the inning when junior short stop Sarah Apgar (Andover, N.J.) laced an RBI double to left field that brought in Doka.
Lesley starter Nicole Mercurio (Wakefield, Mass.) retired seven of the final nine Elms batters she faced to close the door on the Blazers, earning her eighth win of the season.
Sarson went 3-4 with a run and an RBI to lead the Lynx offense while Mukai finished going 2-3 with a run scored and a walk.
Lesley struck first in game two as Mukai did not waste any time to extended her current hit-streak to 12 games when she stroked a double to centerfield that scored Mangiaratti who led off the game with an infield single. The Lynx continued to threaten in the inning, but Elms starter Jamie Miner (Chicopee, Mass.) got out of the jam by getting a fielder's choice and a ground out to end the inning.
Lesley would add two more in the second inning when Sarson hit a bases-loaded single that knocked in Thayer and allowed Nazzaro to score on an error in the infield.
Lynx starter Jordan Thomas (Fitchburg, Mass.) was in a groove from the get-go, retiring the 11 of the first 13 batters she faced while not yielding a hit until she allowed a single to Skinner with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. Thomas hurled a complete game, earning the first shutout of her collegiate career while racking up six strikeouts.
The Lynx offense stayed busy, adding a run in the third and putting up five in the bottom of the fourth to put it out of reach.
Doka, Mukai, and Sarson each had two hits in game two while Mukai led the Lynx driving in three runs. Sarson, who finished the day a combined 5-6, knocked in a run and came across once in the win.
The Lynx balanced attack saw eight different runners come across the plate in the win.
Lesley will return to Buckingham Field on Wednesday, April 24th when they host Becker College for a double-dip starting at 3:30p. The Blazers are also back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Amherst College for a 4:30p start.