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Softball: Warriors Now 6-0 After Sweep

All-America Rathbun fires one-hitter, drives in only run against Bowdoin

rathbunbow72dpi_3700.jpgCLERMONT, Fla. -- Junior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron) tossed a complete-game one-hitter and drove in the only run of the game with a first-inning double to propel the Eastern Connecticut State University fastpitch softball team to a 1-0 win over Bowdoin College Monday afternoon at the National Training Center.

At left: Molly Rathbun

Eastern (6-0) completed its third sweep in as many days on the spring trip when sophomore righty Christine Akcer (Milford) and Rathbun, both 3-0,  combined on a six-hitter in a 4-2 victory over the University of Chicago (2-4) Monday night.

Eastern pitching walked only one batter in two games and struck out 15.

Rathbun perfect game spoiled  

For the second consecutive year in Clermont, Bowdoin  (4-5) leftfielder Caroline Dewar broke up Rathbun's bid for a perfect game by legging out an infield single to Eastern third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) with one out in the seventh inning.

Last year, Dewar bunted to the left side as the only batter to reach base before Rathbun got swinging strikeouts to preserve Eastern's 3-0 wictory.

Monday,, Dewar chopped a 1-0 pitch to Cooper and beat the throw by a step. Eastern sophomore leftfielder Courtney Weber (Groton) then flagged down a hard line drive near the left field line off complete-game losing pitcher Kara Nilan for the second out . After Dewar moved into scoring position by stealing second base, Rathbun walked  Toni DaCampo on a 3-2 pitch. On a 1-2 pitch, Rathbun induced an infield fly ball from Molly Nestor  to end the game.

Eastern junior All-New England centerfield Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) singled to third base to lead off the bottom of the first inning and later scored the only run. She stole second, moved to thrd on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore second baseman Amanda Palmieri (Southington), and rode home on Rathbun's double through the right-center field gap.
 Rathbun (3-0) outdueled Nilan for the win. Rathbun fanned nine and issued the lone seventh-inning walk. Nilan (2-2) allowed five hits and struck out 12 Eastern batters and did not walk a batter.

For the fourth game this year, Eastern did not commit an error.

Against Chicago, Warriors capitalize early again

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 Eastern scored all of its runs in the first two innings and sophomore Christine Akcer (Milford) and Rathbun.combined on a six-hitter.

Six hitters had one hit each for Eastern, which scored three times in the second inning on two hits, a walk, error, and wild pitch. After the first run of the inning scored on an error, Alicea drove in No. 8 hitter Weber from third wit a single, and the third run scored on a wild pitch on a strikeout.

 A third inning RBI double and wild pitch in the sixth accounted for both runs off Akcer (3-0). Rathbun, who beat Bowdoin College on a one-hitter earlier in the day, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for her first save.

Chicago managed baserunners in each of the first three innings against Akcer but came away with only one run. By that time, the Warriors had built a comfortable 4-0 lead. Akcer's best work came in the sixth. THe Maroons came up with their second run of the game but Akcer returned three in a row to prevent further damage and strand a runner at third. Feshman shortstop Courtney Jobin (Oxford, MA) snared a line drive on her knees for the first out and Akcer got a foul out and ground ball to end the threat.

Wednesday, Eastern meets Elmhurst College at 1:30 and UW-Superior at 5:30 p.m. (that game originially scheduled for 3:30 p.m.)