Freshman White's first career HR is a walk-off slam against Fontbonne
CLERMONT, Fla. -- Freshman DP Alicia White (Colchester) hit a walk-off grand slam with two out in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team to a 12-8 come-from-behind win over Fontbonne University in the first of two games Sunday at the National Training Center.
At left: Alicia White
In the second game, Middlebury (4-2) scored five runs in the first two innings on five hits, two walks and two errors and Eastern (3-3) stranded 11 runners in an 8-4 loss.
White tied the 35-year-old Eastern record with seven RBI against Fontbonne (6-5), driving in the team's first two runs with a single in the first, plating another with a ground ball in the fourth, then slammed a game-ending grand slam in the seventh after the Warriors had loaded the bases on walks after there were two out and none on.
The home run was the first in the career of White, who finished the afternoon with eight RBI after delivering a two-out RBI double for Eastern's final run in the sixth inning against Middlebury.
Eastern trailed 8-2 against Fontbonne after the Griffins scored all of their runs in their first two at-bats, but the Warriors were able to cut the gap to 8-6 after three innings, then tied the game with two unearned runs in the fourth on two hits, two passed balls and an infield error.
Sophomore Shannon Martin (Wethersfield) paved the way for White's game-winning blast by shutting out Fontbonne over five innings as the third of four Eastern pitchers, and doubling with one out and scoring the first run of the third, then stroking an RBI double with two out in the fourth to tie the game at 8-all.
Eastern outhit Middlebury, 13-9, and also drew three walks and a hit-by-pitch, but stranded 11 runners against junior Elizabeth Morris, the complete-game winner. The Warriors stranded three in the second, and the Panthers followed with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a triple and sacrifice fly to expand their early lead to 5-0. In the fourth, Eastern scored its first two runs on a two-run, two-out pinch single by junior Jen Tamindzija (Malden, MA) but Morris left two runners aboard when she retired senior All-America third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) on a ground ball to third.
Cooper had three hits in each game (two doubles), scored three runs and drove in two on the day. Against Fontbonne, she reached base in all five plate appearances with three singles and two walks and scored the team's first run in the first and also rode home on White's game-winning grand slam.
Martin recorded all three of her hits on the day against Fontbonne. White had five hits and scored one run to go along with her double and home run and eight RBI. Junior second baseman Megan Godwin (Manchester) reached four times with three walks against Fontbonne and a single against Middlebury and scored three runs. Freshman shortstop Alyssa Hancock (Waterford) registered three hits on the day and reached a fourth time with a walk. Senior rightfielder Katie Sokoloski (Eastford) reached in all three of her plate appearances with two bunt singles and a walk against Fontbonne and scored two runs and also walked against Middlebury.
Eastern's starting infield of Cooper, Hancock, Godwin and senior first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) handled 35 chances on the day with just one error, with the middle infield of Godwin and Hancock perfect on 21 attempts.
In six games, Eastern has a .988 fielding percentage (two errors) and .324 batting average. Cooper (15-for-22) is batting a team-leading .682, with White (6-for-14) at .429 and Godwin at .400 (8-for-20).
Eastern faces Buena Vista University (1 p.m.) and Carthage College (3 p.m.) Tuesday.