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Softball Plays Hardball, Sweeps Lynx

Warriors engineer 25-hit attack and mercy Lesley twice, 9-1, 8-0

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Freshman Taylor Smyth (at left)  was one of nine players to join the hit parade in Wednesday's sweep of Lesley. (Photo by David Santerre)

MANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior All-America third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic) continued her offensive onslaught this season with  two home runs, two doubles and a triple as the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team swept its fourth consecutive doubleheader, 9-1 in six innings and 8-0 in five innings against Lesley University Wednesday afternoon at the Eastern Softball Field.

Cooper was 3-for-4 with a double, triple and home run, scored three runs and drove in three in the opener, and was 4-for-4 with a homer and double, scored three runs and drove in two in the nightcap. She improved her season batting average by 42 percentage points  to .625 and has eight home runs, nine doubles, three triples, 74 total bases and a 1.321 slugging percentage this year for Eastern  (11-5), riding an eight-game winning streak.

Cooper has 12 multiple-hit and seven multiple-RBI games this year. After setting a program record with a 33-game hitting streak last year, Cooper has hit safely in every game this year. She has homered in each of the  last four games and has extended her program career home run record to 32.

The game was a re-match of the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division III regional tournament, won 10-1 in five innings by Eastern at the Eastern Softball Field.

Ranked first nationally in doubles per game (2.75), Eastern collected seven against Lesley (4-12) to go along with three home runs and two triples and recorded 25 hits to up its season batting average from .379 to .391. The Warriors are ranked ninth nationally in that category.

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Sophomore Shannon Martin (at right) pitched four scoreless innings as the Game 2 starter to lower her ERA to 3.04. (Photo by David Santerre)

Sophomore rightfielder Sam Rossetti (Shelton) was 5-for-7 and freshman shortstop Alyssa Hancock (Waterford) 4-for-5. Rossetti homered for the second time in two days, and also doubled twice, drove in four runs and scored two. Hancock drove in three runs with two doubles and a triple and scored three. Freshman  infielder Alyssa Dumphy (Southington) drove in her first career run with a run-producing ground ball as a pinch hitter in the second game.

Senior righty Christine Akcer (Milford) pitched a complete-game five-hitter without allowing an earned run in the opener with two strikeouts and no walks, and sophomore righty Shannon Martin (Wethersfield) and freshman righty Emily Komornik (Shelton) combined on a four-hit shutout in the nightcap. Martin allowed three hits over the first four innings without a walk or strikeout and Komornik  gave up one hit and one walk in one inning. All nine of Lesley's hits were singles.

Junior centerfielder Maria Nazzaro had three hits and freshman rightfielder Jodee Doka and sophomore catcher Allison Fountain two each.

Eastern hosts the University of Southern Maine Saturday at 1 p.m. in a Little East Conference doubleheader.

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