Wildcats Sweep Mariners in NAC Softball Action
The Wildcats of Bay Path College softball team swept Maine Maritime Academy Mariners this afternoon in North Atlantic Conference play at the Farmlea Rd. field. Game one saw the Mariners staging a comeback in the 7th to tie the game 5-to-5, but the wildcats held on for the win 6-5, game two was a 14-to-7 victory for the Maroon and White sluggers. Bay Path combined for 19 hits with fellow sophomores’ shortstop Sarah Gates (North Granby, CT) and pitcher Kristal Cormier (Rochester, NH) leading the way each tallying three for the day.
In the first game, despite the Mariners 10 hits to the Wildcats four hits Maine Maritime recorded the loss. Bay Path jumped out early scoring two in the bottom of the first inning. Gates who scored on a passed ball after junior Sarah Wright (Canterbury, NH) moved her around on a successfully placed sacrifice bunt along with a wild pitch. Sophomore Sam Gunseth (Swanzey, NH) was also given a free pass to first with senior centerfielder Tianna Carr (Beverly, MA) sending her home on a blast to right center.
Maine Maritime answered back in the second taking the lead 3-to-2 with three Mariners hitting safely and scoring including senior catcher Hillary Arris (Falmouth, ME), freshman shortstop Brittany Hunt (Hickory, NC) and freshman pitcher Danielle Richard (Milford, ME).
The Wildcats struck in both the fourth and fifth innings tallying three more runs for the lead. Both Carr and senior leftfielder/catcher Amanda Rodriguez (South Hadley, MA) scored on a shot through the left side by freshman catcher/3B Jess Priestly (Middleboro, MA). Next inning Carr also scored the other run taking advantage of some errors by the Mariners.
Despite the 5-to-3 advantage Maine Maritime staged a comeback in the top of the seventh grabbing two more runs to knot the game five all taking the regulation play to extra innings. Again Hunt came up big for her team plating freshman Meg Russell (Dixfield, ME) and Mallery Stanley (Standish, ME) on a double shot to right center.
Defense was the name of the game in the top of the eighth with the Maroon and White golden glovers shutting the Mariners down in the eighth. Rodriguez and Gunseth combined for a great double play ending the inning with no runs. Cormier saved the game with a hard shot down the left line notching the RBI.
Cormier (6-4) was awarded the win going 8.0 innings allowing four earned runs on ten hits while fanning only one batter. Richard (1-3) suffered the loss hurling 6.1 innings allowing three hits and four runs striking out one, while starter Amanda Barker (Waterville, ME) only went 1.0 inning allowing two runs off one hit walking two after succumbing to a shoulder injury.
In game two, Bay Path held the lead the whole game finishing with a 14-7 victory being lead by Gates with three runs and three hits. Senior infielder Sarah Palmer (Topsham, ME), sophomore pitcher Jess Nizinski (West Springfield, MA), Wright and Cormier all had two hits while Wright, Palmer, Nizinski and Carr each added two RBI’s. Gates, Cormier and Palmer each provided three runs for the nightcap.
The Wildcats’ Nizinski notched her first triple while the Mariners’ Stanley launched one over the left field wall for the lone home run for the day
Stanley led the Mariners with three runs, three hits and three RBI’s for the game. Barker was the only other player from Maritime to have multiple hits.
Bay Path’s hurlers Jess Nizinski (8-5) picked up the win going 5.0 innings fanning two allowing seven earned runs off of eight hits. Reliever Cormier notched the seasons’ first save effectively hurling two innings giving up only one hit. Richard (1-4) again suffered the loss allowing 14 runs only five earned on 13 hits striking out five batters.
Four Wildcats are batting over 300 for the season including Gates (.468), Gunseth (.314), Rodriguez (.308) and freshman utility player Kat Begin (Weare, NH) hitting .417 in 2008 campaign. The team is also at 13 homeruns with Gunseth topping the Wildcats at five for the year, with Gates at three and Priestly and Rodriguez with two and Wright chipping in one. Both hurlers have winning records; Cormier (3.14 ERA) has 26 strike-outs while only walking 16 on the year going 69.0 innings while Nizinski (4.05 ERA) has the most wins at nine fanning 31 batters going 84.2 innings.
Bay Path is now 15-9 overall and 7-5 in the NAC, while Maine Maritime is now 6-6 on the season and 4-6 in conference. The Wildcats will host eight games, in which six are conference games, in a five day span next week. The Wildcats square off against Wheelock College on April 16 at 3:30 p.m. for another conference doubleheader.