LONGMEADOW, Mass. – Behind two solid pitching performances from sophomore Cassandra Knox (SEA CLIFF, N.Y./North Shore), the Lesley University softball team swept Bay Path College 5-0 and 8-1 in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. The Lynx remained undefeated in conference play, improving to 12-8 (6-0 NECC) while the Wildcats dropped to 13-17 (2-6 NECC).
Knox pitched 7.0 shutout innings with four hits, three walks while striking out seven to lead Lesley to a 5-0 victory in game one. It was the sophomore's eight victory of the season, improving to 8-6 on the season.
The Lynx scored the first run of the game on the bottom of the second after Molly Sarson (SANFORD, Maine/Sanford) walked and Ashley Cunningham (MOUNTAIN TOP, Pa./Crestwood) singled to left field to reach base. A passed ball advanced the runners, then Chelsea Quackenbush (EAST HAMPTON, Conn./East Hampton) bunted and Sarson raced home to cross the plate.
Lesley and Bay Path stayed at 1-0 through the next two innings until the Lynx scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Centerfielder Alyson Durben (STOW, Mass./Nashoba Regional) highlighted the inning by cracking a three-run line drive home run to left field. The blast gave the Lynx a 5-0 lead following a sacrifice fly by catcher Jodi Fralick (WOBURN, Mass./Woburn).
Bay Path centerfielder Sarah Gates (CROWN POINT, Ind./Granby Memorial) went perfect at the plate going 3-for-3 in the game with three singles. Except for a four-run fifth inning, Wildcats hurler Jessica Nizinski (WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass./Holyoke Catholic) was solid by pitching 6.0 innings with two strikeouts.
The Lesley offense continued to impress in game two as the Lynx won 8-1 behind 11 team hits.
Durben followed her game one effort with a perfect 4-for-4 performance at the plate including two doubles. The junior scored twice and knocked in a run with a double in the sixth inning.
Cunningham, however, made the biggest splash in game two with a three-run home run to deep left centerfield that gave the Lynx a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Cunningham finished the game 2-for-3.
Lesley rightfielder Emily Mangiaratti (AMHERST, Mass./Amherst Regional) went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot with two runs scored, an RBI, and a stolen base. The Lynx also got RBIs from Jessica Guevara (NANTUCKET, Mass./Nantucket), Fralick, and Sarson.
Bay Path scored their lone run of the game down 6-0 in the top of the fifth. Kellie Lastowski (TURNER FALLS, Mass./Turner Falls) walked to lead off the inning then stole second base. The next batter, Nizinski, drove a ball over the centerfielder's head bringing home Lastowski to cut Lesley's lead to 6-1.
Lesley will be back in action on Wednesday, April 21 for a non-conference doubleheader against Framingham State College starting at 3:00 pm. Bay Path hosts NECC opponent Southern Vermont College on Saturday, April 24.