Sophomore righty gives Warriors split for second time in two days
Above: Erin Miller; Below: Alyssa Hancock
NEW LONDON, Conn. - For the second consecutive day, sophomore Erin Miller (Waterford) earned a complete-game victory to help the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team salvage a doubleheader split.
Thursday, Miller (9-2) went the distance for her eighth win in her last nine decision, allowing eight hits and no walks to guide Eastern (24-10) to an 8-2 victory over the U.S. Coast Guard (20-15) Academy at Nitchman Field and a split of a doubleheader between two of last year's NCAA regional tournament qualifiers.
In the opener, Coast Guard batted around and scored all three of its runs in the fourth inning, and freshman Kristine Kahl (13-6) pitched a complete-game four-hitter in the Bears' 3-1 victory.
In the second game, freshman DP Alicia White (Colchester) and senior first baseman Kelly Paterson (Southington) each drove in two runs and freshman ceneterfielder Alyssa Hancock (Waterford) reached safely three times with two hits and a walk, scored twice and knocked in one run.
Eastern scored three of its second-game runs on sacrifice flies by Paterson in the first inning and by junior shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester) and junior second baseman Jen Tamindzija (Malden, MA) in the third.
On the day, Hancock and junior outfielder Mattie Brett (Waterford) each had three hits, with Hancock reaching four times and scoring three runs. Brett's double in the fourth inning of the nightcap was the only extra-base hit by either team.
Batting leadoff in the first game and third in the second game, senior third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) was intentionally walked seven times in eight plate appearances. Cooper entered the game as the national leader in slugging , ranked second in home runs per game and on-base percentage and third in batting average. The seven freebies improved her on-base percentage to .674.
Miller had thrown a two-hit shutout in Wednesday's 4-0 Little East Conference victory over Western Connecticut State University to give the Warriors a split. This season, she has a 3.15 ERA and 30 strikeouts in a staff-high 73 1/3 innings after appearing in only four games in relief with a 1-0 record in 5 2/3 innings as a freshman.
In the first game, she was given an intentional pass leading off the game, another with two out and none on in the third inning of a scoreless game, bounced back to the mound with one out and none on and Eastern trailing 3-0 in the fifth, and was walked intentionally again with two out and a runner on first when the Warriors scored their only run in the seventh.
In the nightcap, she was walked with two on and none out when Eastern scored a run in the first inning, again with one on and none out in a four-run third inning when she scored her only run of the afternoon, was given a free pass with two on and one out in the team's two-run fourth, and was again walked with one on and one out in the sixth.
Eastern hosts Keene State College Saturday at 2 p.m. in a Little East Conference doubleheader.