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Softball: Eastern Swamps Beacons

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MANSFIELD, Conn. - Freshman DP Alicia White (Colchester) and junior second baseman Megan Godwin (Manchester) both drove in four runs and senior third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) reached safely five times and scored five runs as the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team opened defense of its Little East Conference title with 8-2, 9-1 victories over the University of Massachusetts Boston Saturday afternoon in its home-openers at the Eastern Softball Field.

The second game was stopped in the sixth inning due to the eight-run rule.

Ranked No. 23 nationally, Eastern (7-5, 2-0 Little East) collected 22 hits in the doubleheader -- ten of them doubles - and remained undefeated against UMass Boston (5-11, 0-2 Little East) in this 35-game series.

Junior Erin Miller (Waterford)  and senior Christine Akcer (Milford) each threw complete games for Eastern. Miller (3-1) allowed 11 hits in the opener but didn't walk a batter and struck out two and stranded one Beacon runner in every inning. Akcer (1-0), making her second appearance and first start of the season due to a calf strain, gave up nine hits and walked two without a strikeout and stranded ten runners.

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Eastern did not commit an error in the sweep and turned two double plays in the opener.

At right: Megan Godwin (Photo by Katie Dulz)

In the first game, Godwin drove in four runs with a two-run double, RBI single and infield ground out and White and senior first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) plated two each. White had two hits and scored two runs and Paterson three hits.

Eastern had six doubles in the nightcap, White tying the Eastern record with three. White and sophomore rightfielder Sam Rossetti (Shelton) both had three hits. Rossetti drove in three runs with a two-run double in a five-run third inning and an RBI single. White doubled in runs in the first and third and doubled and scored in the sixth. Junior centerfielder Mattie Brett (Waterford) also knocked in two runs with a suicide squeeze and sacrifice fly.                                                                                                                                                                  

Cooper, batting .605 on the season, doubled and scored the team's first run in the first inning of the opener, singled and scored in the third and walked and scored in the sixth. In the second game, she doubled and scored leading off the first, and walked and scored in the third.

Leadoff hitter Kelsey Souza recorded five of UMass Boston's 20 hits on the day, with cleanup hitter Erika Vecchiet driving in all three of her team's runs with a two sacrifice flies in the opener and an RBI single in the nightcap.

In both games, Vecchiet drove in first-inning runs to give the Beacons the early leads, and in both games, the Warriors tied the game in the bottom of the inning, then broke it open with big third inning aided by infield errors. In the first game, the Warriors scored four times in the third on four hits - capped by Paterson's two-out, two-run double - and pushed five across in the third inning of the nightcap on just two hits, two walks, a suicide squeeze, infield error and sacrifice fly. Rossetti drove in two of the runs with a double.

Eastern host Springfield College Tuesday at 3 p.m.

 

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