The Keene State College softball team is the LEC regular season champions after a strong final week in conference play.
Over the week of April 25 to April 30, the Owls went 5-1 and 3-1 in conference play to lock down the top seed. As a result, Keene State will host the LEC softball tournament beginning on Friday, May 6. Keene State began their week in non-conference play at Owl Athletic Complex. On April 27, the Owls swept Springfield College in their final non-conference doubleheader of the season. KSC took game one 8-0 in five innings and game two 3-2.
According to the Keene Owls website, Keene State used six run first inning sending 10 hitters to the plate. Senior Heather Pelletier got the Owls going, knocking in the game’s first run with an RBI groundout. Senior Morgan Fallon then drove in a run on fielder’s choice to make it 2-0.
Sophomore Olivia Indorf then made it 3-0 with an RBI single, and then sophomore Brittany DaMota singled and a Springfield error emptied the bases making it 6-0.
Senior Mariah Crisp went seven shutout innings and allowed five hits and struck out seven hitters. Game two was a closer contest as Fallon drove in the Owls’ first run in first inning to make it 1-0. The game was then scoreless until the third and fourth innings when Springfield College took a 2-1 lead. The winning hit came off the bat of junior Kayla Votto. Votto hit a two run home run to put the Owls up for good in the fifth inning 3-2.
First-year pitcher Molly St. Germain picked going five innings and striking out four. First-year pitcher Leah Rowe threw the final two innings to earn the save. Keene State resumed action Friday, April 29 with a doubleheader against the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Owls swept the Beacons, taking game one 11-1 in five innings and game two 13-3 in six innings.
In game one, Crisp went five innings and allowed just one run. Fallon, Indorf and junior Jen Galavotti all homered for Keene State in the victory. The Owls fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first, and then struck for three runs to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the first. After, they plated two runs in the fourth and six runs in the fifth.
Game two saw the Owls come from behind 3-2 after three innings. The Owls’ bats exploded for eight runs in the sixth inning as sophomore Shae Crosby hit a two run homer to give the Owls the 11-3 victory via the mercy rule. Keene State closed out the season on April 30, on the road at the University of Southern Maine. Keene State took game one 1-0 and fell in game two 3-2. In game one, the lone run was plated in the first inning when Fallon hit an RBI double to make it 1-0. Crisp had another solid performance on the mound. She went seven innings and struck out eight and allowed three hits.
In game two the Huskies victoriously, scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Once again, Keene State scored first as St. Germain helped herself out in the fifth, driving in a run to make it 1-0. Senior Stephanie Long made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the fifth as well.
The Huskies then quickly got one back in the bottom of the fifth to make it 2-1. In the seventh, they plated two runs on Courtney Davis’s two run walk off single. Keene State finishes the regular season with a 20-14 record and an 11-3 mark in conference play. The regular season title is the first for KSC since 2004.
The Keene State College baseball team finished their second to last week of the season with a 3-2 record; however, the Owls just had a 1-2 mark in conference play.
The Owls began the week on a positive note with an 11-3 win on April 25, at home against Western New England. Sophomore Noah Rizio started and went 4.1 innings and allowed two runs. Junior, Nate Pedersen threw 2.2 innings of scoreless ball to get the win.
The Owls offense was paced by first-year player Devin Springfield who went 3 for 5 with a triple and drove in two runs. In addition, Joey Libby went 2 for 4 from the leadoff spot.
Keene State was back in action at home on April 27, and defeated Framingham State 12-9. Sophomore reliever Steve Zadravec picked up the win throwing two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth. Keene State offense pounded out a season high 12 runs and a season high 16 hits. Libby contributed with four hits, and sophomore Christian Bourgea had four hits in the victory.
Keene State played conference ball games the rest of the week. On April 28, the Owls traveled to Plymouth State to take on the Panthers. The Owls fell 4-3.
KSC was able to score first, plating a single run in the top of the third when Bourgea singled in a run to make it 1-0; however, the Panthers got the run right back in the bottom of the third to make it 1-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, James Garnett hit a three run homerun to give the Panthers the lead for good, making the score 4-1. Keene State then plated a run in the top of the fifth on Bourgea’s RBI groundout to make it 4-2.
The score remained 4-2 until the top of the ninth with two outs. In the top of the ninth, first-year first basemen Connor Longley hit a solo homerun to make it 4-3.
Junior Michael Crimi started for the Owls and took the loss. He went five innings and allowed four runs. Senior Keith Simpson threw three scoreless innings of relief.
On Saturday April 30, KSC returned home and split with the University of Southern Maine. Keene State took game one in walk-off fashion in 11 innings on Springfield’s opposite field RBI single.
The Owls fell behind early 3-0, but plated a single run in the fifth inning and then put a three spot in the seventh inning to tie the game. Keene State’s bullpen kept the Huskies off the board with three shutout innings. Senior Eddie Dionne recorded the final out in the top of the 11th to pick up the victory.
In game two, Keene State fell 11-8 after falling behind 6-0 in the first inning. The Owls could never tie the ballgame and settled for the split.
Heading into the final day of the season, Keene State is still mathematically alive for postseason contention. KSC has a 16-20 record overall and a 4-8 mark in conference play. The Owls return to action on Friday, May 6, on senior day at noon against the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at the Owl Athletic Complex.
Brian Clemmenson can be contacted at email@example.com