LONGMEADOW, Mass.- The fourth seed Bay Path College Wildcats defeated the fifth seed Daniel Webster College Eagles, 8-0, in five innings of the 2010 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Championship Quarterfinals yesterday on the Bay Path Longmeadow Campus. Senior outfielder Sarah Gates of Crown Point, IN, led all players with two hits and three RBI.
Despite a halt of the game after the bottom of the first inning due to extreme weather conditions, the Wildcats managed to keep the 2-0 lead and score six more runs in the next three innings to wrap up the game early.
Bay Path struck early, scoring the eventual game-winner and first run in the first inning. Junior lead-off batter Katie Begin of Weare, NH, reached on a walk. Next up, senior Samantha Gunseth of Swanzey, NH, laid a perfect sacrifice bunt and reached first on a throwing error by Daniel Webster’s senior catcher. Gunseth stole second, while Gates smacked one to centerfield to plate Begin. Sophomore infielder Meg Whitcomb of Lyndon, VT, flied out of right field scoring Gunseth on the sacrifice.
After a twenty minute break for wind and rain, Bay Path scored three more in the bottom of the second. Begin notched an RBI, bringing sophomore catcher Kellie Lastowksi of Turners Falls, MA, home on a single pop-fly past shortstop. Gates again produced big with two RBI, launching a shot to left field and plating Begin and freshman outfielder Ashley Provost of Ludlow, MA.
Junior infielder Jess Priestly of Middleboro, MA, started the ball rolling in the third, shellacking a shot down the left line. Freshman pinch runner Jen Scionti of Cromwell, CT, eventually scored the sixth run off an RBI single through the left side by Provost. Senior Jessica Nizinski of West Springfield would send a sacrifice fly out the right field to score Lastowski.
Whitcomb tallied the final RBI in the fourth, singling up the middle with Gunseth crossing the plate. This would prove to be the much-needed eighth run to enact the mercy rule in favor of the Wildcats.
Nizinski limited the Eagles to only three more hits not allowing any runners to advance to second. Nizinski (15-12) faced 18 batters giving up only four hits for her first shut-out of the season.
Fourth seed Bay Path will advance to the semifinals on Friday, May 7, at 10 a.m., facing the top seed and host Lesley University at the UMass Boston softball field in Cambridge, Mass.
Visit athletics.baypath.edu/landing/index for more information about the Bay Path Wildcats.