BOSTON, Mass. – The Lynx went a perfect 2-0 in day one of the double elimination final four portion of the NECC Softball Championship bracket. The top-seeded Lynx took victories over the fourth-seeded Elms College Blazers and the second-seeded Becker College Hawks to stand as the only unbeaten team left in the tournament.
In the day's first game, senior Emily Mangiaratti (Amherst, Mass.) and junior Nicole Mercurio (Wakefield, Mass.) each had three hits as the Lesley University Lynx defeated the Elms College Blazers, 9-4.
Freshman Jordan Thomas (Fitchburg, Mass.) earned the victory in the complete-game effort, giving up ten hits, four runs (one earned), and striking out one.
Lesley got on the board first, scoring two in the first and built a 7-0 lead by scoring five in the third before the Blazers scored four unanswered runs to cut the lead to 7-4. Lesley added two more insurance runs in the sixth before closing out the 9-4 victory.
Freshman outfielder Taylor Skinner (South Windsor, Conn.) led the Blazer offense with three hits, a run scored, and an RBI while sophomore Gianna Gonyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and senior Rachel Butt (Agawam, Mass.) each picked up two hits.
In their second game of the afternoon, Lesley used their high-powered offense to earn a 10-2 decision over Becker College in five innings.
Becker got the scoring going as they got a run in the top of the first after Jaclyn Orangio (Maynard, Mass.) singled to lead off the game and came around on a Lynx throwing error. The
After Lesley tied it at 1-1 in the second, the Hawks would add another run in the top of the third to reclaim a 2-1 advantage.
From there, it was all Lesley as they plated four runs in the third, three in the fourth, and two in the fifth to win via run-rule, 10-2.
Senior Molly Sarson (Sanford, Me.) led the Lynx offense going 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBI while freshman Sydney Thayer (Reading, Mass.) knocked in a team-high three runs. Junior Nicole Mercurio (Wakefield, Mass.) picked up the win for the Lynx, going the distance while striking out four.
After scoring three runs in the game, Lynx senior Emily Mangiaratti (Amherst, Mass.) broke the Lesley record for most career runs scored. Mangiaratti now has crossed the plate 179 times in her brilliant four year career. The previous record of 177 runs was held by Lani Cabral-Pini who played for the Lynx from 2006-2009.
The NECC Championship will continue tomorrow as Newbury College and Becker College will square off at 12:00p in what will be an elimination game. Lesley University will play the winner of that game at 2:00p.
In other NECC Championship action:
#3 Newbury College 7, #2 Becker College 9
In game five of the tournament, Becker College grabbed a 9-7 win over Newbury College. It was the top-third of the order that did the damage for the Hawks as Jaclyn Orangio (Maynard, Mass.), Jessica Wheelahan (Watertown, Conn.), and Talan Barron (Methuen, Mass.) combined for eight hits, six runs scored, and three RBI.
The Nighthawks took a commanding 7-0 lead after scoring one in the second and six more in the top of the third, but the Hawks answered with six runs of their own in bottom of the third and took the lead after plating two more in the bottom of the fourth.
Becker would add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, on their way to the 9-7 victory.
Newbury junior Katie Haney (Winchendon, Mass.) finished going 2-4 with a run scored to lead the Nighthawk offense while freshman Amber Rapchun (Corona, Calif.) went 1-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Sophomore Megan Cordon (Watertown, Conn.) picked up the win for Becker, providing4.1 innings of scoreless relief, limiting Newbury to just one hit while racking up five strikeouts.
#3 Newbury College 10, #4 Elms College 6 (8 Innings)
In the day's first elimination game, Newbury used a seven-run eighth inning to stay alive in the NECC Championship, topping Elms College 10-6.
With the game tied 3-3, both teams left runners in scoring position and failed to get the go-ahead run in the late innings as this one traveled into extras. The Nighthawks didn't waste any time getting their offense moving in the eighth, loading the bases with no outs before getting back-to-back RBI singles from freshmen Alyssa Donovan (West Haven, Conn.) and Sheri Liggiero (Tewksbury, Mass.).
After getting their third run of the inning home on an error, freshman Michaela McGowan (Nashua, N.H.) put the ribbon on this one with a three-run homer deep over the left-centerfield fence.
The Nighthawks would finish off their scoring when senior Rebecca Roach (Charlton, Mass.) connected for an RBI single up the middle, scoring sophomore Julia Flamenco (Copiague, N.Y.)
The Blazers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning, but it was not enough as Newbury would hang on for the 10-6 win.
Junior Ally Witaszek (Agawam, Mass.) went 3-4 with two runs scored while senior Sarah Buckley (Wilbraham, Mass.) finished with two hits, two runs scored, and an RBI in the loss.