CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Plymouth State University used the long ball to secure wins in both ends of a non-conference double-header this afternoon, topping Lesley 9-5 in game one and 4-2 in the nightcap. Game two was called after six innings due to darkness. The Panthers improve to 10-7 on the year while the Lynx fall to 4-10.
In game one, the Panthers got out first scoring two runs in the top of the second when junior Shannon Murphy (Chester, N.H.) knocked in freshman Vanessa Przybylo (Queensbury, N.Y.) and senior Calli DeGrace (Plymouth, N.H.) hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, allowing sophomore Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) to cross the plate.
The Lynx would answer back in the bottom of the third to grab a lead of their own. Maria Nazzaro (North Reading, Mass.) and Emily Mangiaratti (Amherst, Mass.) both reached to start the inning and came around on singles by Allison Fountain (Cheshire, Conn.) and Nicole Mercurio (Wakefield, Mass.). Lesley broke the tie when Mercurio got hung up between first and second, allowing Fountain to cross the plate.
The lead didn't last long as the Panthers notched it up in the top half of the fourth. DeGrace reached and advance to second on a Lynx throwing error, moved to third on a wild pitch, and came around when Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H.) singled up the middle, tying the game at 3-3.
The Lynx got two more in the bottom half of the inning when they loaded the bases with one out. Senior Molly Sarson (Sanford, Me.) drew a bases loaded walk that forced classmate Rian Powers (Portland, Me.) to score and Lesley got one more as junior Sarah Apgar (Andover, N.J.) crossed the plate on a pass ball.
The back-and-forth continued in the top of the fifth as Taylor Mancini (Gansevoort, N.Y.) came around following a Lesley error and the Panthers then loaded the bases with just one out. DeGrace made her at-bat count and broke the game open when she knocked a 2-2 pitch over the fence in straightaway centerfield for a grand slam, giving Plymouth State a 9-5 lead.
That's how it would stay as Roberts came in and pitched 3.1 innings in relief, earning the win while giving up only three hits and striking out six.
Sarson, Fountain, and Mercurio all finished with two hits in game one while Mangiaratti went 1-2 with two walks.
In game two, Lesley cracked first when Mangiaratti crossed the plate on an Angela Mukai (Amherst, N.H.) grounder to short, giving the Lynx an early 1-0 lead.
Plymouth State tied it in the third on an RBI single by DeGrace that knocked in sophomore Sam Madore (Bristol, Conn.)
Lesley starter Jordan Thomas (Fitchburg, Mass.) kept the Plymouth State bats relatively quiet, yielding just the one run through the first four innings. Thomas ran into a bit of trouble in the fifth as Jen Bove (Medford, Mass.) and DeGrace hit back-to-back singles with one out. Junior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) followed their singles with a two-strike blast over the centerfield fence, giving the Panthers a 4-1 lead.
The Lynx would get one back in the bottom of the fifth when Fountain singled in Mangiaratti, but could not muster up anymore offense as the Panthers took game two, 4-2.
Plymouth State starter Nora Galvin (Windham, N.H.) went the distance, striking out nine while limiting the Lesley bats to just four hits.
The Lynx are back on the diamond tomorrow when they travel to Eastern Connecticut State for a non-conference doubleheader while the Panthers, who are in the midst of a 12-game road trip, will travel to Fitchburg State for a doubleheader on Thursday.