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Softball: Opening Split in Florida

       Cooper, Godwin have 4 hits, freshman Hancock has 6 RBI with help of first HR


Hancock (far left), Miller

CLERMONT, Fla. --  Senior All-America third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) doubled twice and tripled and drove in four runs, and  freshman infielder Alyssa Hancock (Waterford) doubled home two runs in her first official at-bat and hit a three-run home run in her second as the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team opened its 2013 season with a split at the National Training Center.

In the opener, William Paterson College (3-7) scored three runs in the fourth and Eastern (1-1) stranded the tying run on second base in the sixth in a 5-4 loss. In the second game, Cooper drove in three runs with a game-ending triple, junior shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) had three hits, and Hancock socked a three-run home run in the second in Eastern's 13-3, six-inning victory over Concordia University Wisconsin (1-5).

In the second game, sophomore Erin Miller (Waterford) pitched 2 1/3 innings as the second of three Eastern pitchers to gain her second career victory without a loss. Sophomore Shannon Martin (Wethersfield) pitched into the third inning in her first collegiate start and appearance and was lifted with her team leading 5-1 after allowing an RBI triple.

Batting ninth, Hancock had a sacrifice fly, two-run double and walked against William Paterson, unloaded  a three-run home run in the second inning against Concordia and later walked with the bases loaded for her sixth RBI of the day.

Godwin and Cooper both had four hits on the day, with senior first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) collecting three hits.

Batting leadoff,  Cooper doubled and scored leading off the first inning against William Paterson. In the fourth, Hancock and Cooper stroked back-to-back doubles, but Hancock was thrown out at home on Cooper's double that would have given the Warriors a three-run cushion.  Cooper's sixth-inning sacrifice fly in the six pulled Eastern to within 5-4.

Against Concorida, Cooper singled and scored in the fourth, reached on an error and scored in the fifth, and ended the game with a bases-clearing triple in the sixth.

Godwin and Cooper combined to score seven runs on the afternoon and record 13 total bases.  Freshman DH Alicia White (Colchester) reached safely four times against Concorida with a hit, two walks and a hit-by-pitch, and scored once.

Miller made her first career start against Williams Paterson but did not figure in the decision after departing with a 3-2 lead after opening the fourth by walking a batter and allowing an RBI double. An RBI single and passed ball gave the Pioneers the lead for good, 4-3.

Saturday, Eastern faces Union College at 9 a.m. and SUNY New Paltz at 11 a.m.

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