Coming off a 9-1 win over Westfield State on April 27, Keene State softball hoped to stay in the victory column during their senior day doubleheader against Rhode Island College (RIC).
Despite entering the day with an 8-24 record, the Owls still had a narrow chance of qualifying for conference play, but RIC threw an anchor on those plans, winning both games handily.
Before the day began, three seniors were recognized for their work in the program: infielder Sara Cote, catcher and infielder Grace Hallett, and catcher and infielder Katelyn Fisher. Hallett and Cote both served as co-captains of the team over the past season.
GAME 1: Anchorwomen sail to victory
RIC’s offense wasted no time offensively in the first game of the day, as the leadoff batter singled to the left side and later stole second base. After a foul out, the runner advanced to third base and then scored on a sacrifice fly, earning an early lead for the Anchorwomen.
The bottom of the first saw opportunity arise for the Owls. After a flyout and a strikeout, sophomore outfielder and infielder Liv Whittier shot a double to center-field. Following the hit, sophomore pitcher and infielder Mia Ferry and Hallett both took walks, which loaded the bases for the Owls. Unfortunately, a strikeout dashed the scoring opportunity and left all three players stranded.
The top of the second proved uneventful for RIC, as they stranded a runner on second base to end the inning. The Owls fought back in the bottom of the second though with an offensive rally. Sophomore pitcher and fielder Carissa Miller ledoff the inning with a single to left-field and later advanced on a passed ball strikeout. Sophomore infielder and outfielder Molly Murray notched an RBI single, tying the game up 1-1.
In the second inning things began to unravel quickly for the Owls, as the Anchorwomen rallied for four runs in an offensive burst. After a leadoff single followed by a walk, a sacrifice bunt put both runners into scoring position. What followed was a fielding error which caused one run to score and put players on the corners. A sacrifice fly plated another run, and a wild pitch allowed one more run to score. A single and a double ended up scoring the final run of the inning, padding RIC’s lead to 5-1.
The Owls’ offense remained quiet for the remainder of the game, only gaining one more single in the fifth inning. The Anchorwomen cracked the game wide open in the top of the sixth as two singles and an error kicked off the rally, plating one run. A walk loaded the bases for RIC and a two-run single put RIC into an 8-1 lead. The runner later stole second and advanced to third on a flyout, ultimately scoring on an RBI groundout. The Owls failed to rebound in the bottom of the sixth, ultimately leaving one player on base, with a final score of 6-1 RIC.
GAME 2: Owls fail to secure split
The beginning of the second game of the day showed some promise for the Owls, as starting pitcher Mia Ferry induced groundouts of the first two batters. The third batter ended up slashing a triple to right field though, putting a player just 90 feet away from an early lead. A fielding error secured a 1-0 lead for the Anchorwomen. Fortunately for Ferry, she was able to escape the jam without any additional damage.
The bottom of the first saw the Owls fail to score with two runners on base, ultimately ending the inning on a strikeout. The top of the third inning saw RIC take advantage of a defensive misstep and timely hitting. A leadoff double followed by an error plated one run. The rally didn’t stop there, as a single and a fielder’s choice plated another run and an RBI triple increased RIC’s lead to 4-0 going into the bottom of the inning.
The Owls failed to respond in the bottom of the inning, with the side going in order, which proved to be fatal for the team. The top of the fourth saw the Anchorwomen deal fatal blows to the Owls, piling on four more runs by the end of the inning. A walk, three singles and a double plated the four runs, putting the Anchorwomen in the driver’s seat at 8-0.
In the bottom of the fourth the Owls scored their first run of the game and their second of the day off the bat of infielder sophomore Allison Adams’ RBI double. The Owls’ offense stayed quiet for the remainder of the game until the seventh inning. Two singles and a wild pitch advanced both runners and gave the Owls their last chance to decrease the deficit, but a strikeout from Murray left both players stranded.
The final score of the game was 8-1, with Ferry taking the loss.
The Owls ended the season with an 8-26 record, as a final doubleheader against Western New England was canceled.
Nathan Hope can be contacted at