April 23, 2009

Softball falls twice to RIC, 9-4 and 4-1

WALTHAM, Mass. -  The Rhode Island College softball team belted five home runs in a doubleheader today to earn a sweep of host Brandeis University. The Anchorwomen won the opener, 9-4, and took the nightcap, 4-1, in five innings because of darkness. Brandeis falls to 22-14 with the losses, while RIC improves to 32-3-1.

In the first game, RIC took advantage of wind blowing out to left field to open the scoring with a pair of round-trippers. Sophomore Kayla Jandreau opened the scoring in with a solo blast, her first of the season, while classmate Chelsi Panarelli added a two-run clout. The Judges answered in the bottom of the frame with a two-out, two-run double by junior catcher Erin Ross (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan).

The Anchorwomen got one run back in the second on a solo shot by SS Donielle Mattoon, her fifth of the season, then extended their lead to 6-2 on another two-run bomb by Panarelli, giving her four on the campaign. The Judges had an opportunity to get back in the contest in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with one out. Rookie LF Lara Hirschler (Bellmore, N.Y./JFK) brought home one run with an infield ground out, but the hosts could not get any more. RIC then blew the game open with three more runs in the sixth. Sophomore Danielle Lavallee (Sutton, Mass./Notre Dame Acad.) added an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn't enough.

Sophomore reliever Amanda Berard earned the win in relief for the visitors, improving to 10-1 on the season. She allowed just one run and three hits in 3.2 innings of work, striking out one and walking one. Brandeis rookie Caroline Miller (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Harriton) suffered the loss, dropping to 11-4 with three innings of six-hit ball, allowing six runs. Junior Allie Mussen (Franklin Square, N.Y./Carey) pitched the final four innings, giving up seven hits and three walks for three earned runs.

In the nightcap, RIC got all the scoring they would need with yet another two-run home run. Jandreau went deep to left for the second time on the afternoon. The Anchorwomen then turned the ball over to sophomore Melanie Neece, who allowed just three hits over four innings of work, striking out seven and walking none.

The Judges were able to manufacture a run in the third inning. Sophomore 2B Melisa Cagar (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) singled through the left side to open the inning. She then made a nice slide to avoid the tag in stealing second, moved to third on a passed ball and scored on Hirschler's sacrifice fly. Brandeis junior Emily Vaillette (Milford, N.H./Milford) kept the Judges in the game until the fifth, when Jandreau plated her third run of the game and the fifth of the day, while sophomore catcher Laura Kostenblatt brought home another with a grounder to short to make the score 4-1. Valliette suffered the loss, falling to 9-8, with five innings of seven-hit ball with four strikeouts and no walks.  Berard worked around a lead-off single in the fifth inning to earn her ninth save of the season.

Cagar was the top hitter of the day for the Judges, going 4-7 with two runs scored. Lavallee had two hits in game one, while Hirschler and junior SS Chelsea Korp (Worcester, Mass./Holy Name) had a hit in each game. Jandreau was the top overall performer on the day, going 4-7 with five RBI, three runs scored and two home runs. Panarelli was outstanding in the opener, going 4-4- with five RBI and two runs scored before going 0-3 in the second game.