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SOFTBALL: EASTERN EASES TO SWEEP OF PLYMOUTH, 13-0, 9-0

No. 13-ranked Warriors now only unbeaten team in Little East Conference

soychak72_6576.jpgSTORRS, Conn. - Junior DP Rachel Soychak (Mahopac, NY) drove in five runs with a three-run home run and a two-run pinch single and the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team collected 19 hits in eight innings of at-bats in sweeping a Little East Conference doubleheader from Plymouth State University, 13-0, 9-0 Sunday at the University of Connecticut softball field. Both games were stopped after five innings on account of the eight-run rule.

Above: Rachel Soychak (Stephen Goomrigian photo)

Ranked No. 1 in New England and No. 13 nationally, Eastern (15-3, 4-0 little east) is the only unbeaten team in the Little East Conference after previously unbeaten Keene State College split a Saturday doubleheader with Rhode Island College. Plymouth (6-11, 2-2) had a five-game winning streak stopped in losing to Eastern for the seventh and eighth consecutive times.

Six Eastern batters had at least two hits, seven scored at least two runs and four drove in three or more runs to back the complete-game, three-hit shutout pitching of first-game sophomore starter Molly Rathbun (Hebron) and second-game freshman Christine Akcer (Milford). Rathbun (8-1) fanned eight (six in a row) without a walk and Akcer (5-2) struck out three and walked one.

Soychak had two hits, drove in five runs and scored one; rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) had four hits (three doubles), scored three runs and drove in three runs; first baseman Katie O'Toole (Waterbury) had four hits, drove in four runs with a double and two singles, and scored twice; Rathbun had three hits, three RBI and two runs scored, recording a hit in each game to extend her hitting streak to 14; and third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) had three hits - including her first career home run with a leadoff linedrive shot to left  in the second inning of the first game. She scored three runs.

Left-handed hitting senior first baseman Kay LaBrie had two of Plymouth's six hits when she legged out infield hits in the second game.

Eastern visits Wesleyan University Thursday at 3:30 p.m.