Softball splits at Newbury

Sarah Ellis

GAME ONE: Becker 8 - Newbury 0 (F/6)

BROOKLINE, Mass. - Leading 1-0 heading for the sixth, the Becker Hawks exploded for seven runs, leading to their 8-0 win over the Newbury Nighthawks in game one of a Saturday doubleheader from Hellenic Softball Diamond in New England Collegiate Conference play.

Hawks senior Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn.) and freshman Sarah Ellis (Berkley, Mass.) both batted 2-for-3, each with a double, an RBI, and a run scored. Freshman Alyssa Columb (Manchester, N.H.) finished with a pair of RBIs.

Nighthawks juniors Tina Babcock (Ayer, Mass.) and Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.), and sophomore Mallory Stefan (Thornton, Colo.) all finished 1-for-2.

The Hawks took their initial 1-0 lead in the first on a bases loaded walk. Becker couldn't take further advantage, leaving the bases loaded in the inning.

Through five innings, only one base runner for the Nighthawks reached scoring position, as Lee only allowed three hits through the first five innings.

The Becker sixth started with to runners in scoring position with no outs. A pair of singles pushed across three runs for the Hawks, giving them a 4-0 lead.

Two batters later and still with no outs, Ellis doubled to left field, scoring Columb for a 5-0 lead. Later in the inning, a single and error led to a 7-0 lead. The Hawks capped the big, seven-run, inning with an RBI single by Samantha Belenchia (Ansonia, Conn.) to lead 8-0.

Lee closed out the game in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Hawks the 8-0 game one win.

Lee moves to 10-6 with the win, allowing just five hits while striking out five. Stefan takes the loss for the Nighthawks, allowing seven earned on 11 hits, falling to 6-12.

GAME TWO: Newbury 9 - Becker 8 (F/8)

BROOKLINE, Mass. - The Nighthawks took advantage of an infield error in extra innings, scoring the game-winning run in a 9-8 comeback win over the Becker Hawks in game two of the Saturday doubleheader.

Nighthawks junior Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.) batted 2-for-4 including a two-run home run that forced extra innings. Sophomores Mallory Stefan (Thornton, Colo.) and Arianna Gooden (Bakersfield, Calif.) both batted 2-for-4.

Hawks senior Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass.) and freshman Sarah Ellis (Berkley, Mass.) both batted 4-for-5 in the game, each scoring three times.

Trailing 7-2 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Nighthawks rally began with two runners in scoring position to begin the inning. An RBI groundout by Gooden, followed by an RBI single by senior Samantha Libby (New Gloucester, Maine) cut the deficit to 7-4. A two-out error would score another, putting the Nighthawks down two, 7-5, after six innings.

In the seventh, with Stefan on first and a 2-1 count, Sass tied the game, 7-7, on a home run to left-center field, the fourth of her season.

In extra innings, Becker drew first blood on an RBI single by senior Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn.) to lead 8-7.

In the bottom of the inning, the Nighthawks looked to have blown their best chance on a failed safety squeeze bunt as Libby was out at the plate on a close play.

However, junior Tina Babcock (Ayer, Mass.) came through in the clutch with an RBI single to tie the game at 8-8. With two runners on, the Nighthawks walked off with the win on a throwing error by the infield, pulling the first baseman off the bag, scoring sophomore Averi Johnson (Oregon City, Ore.) for the 9-8 win.

Nighthawks junior Alina Milauskas (Elkridge, Md.) gets her first win of the season, moving to 1-3. Lee pitched again for the Hawks, taking the loss to fall to 10-8.

The Nighthawks move to 9-15 (4-4 NECC) with the split. The Hawks are now 15-11 (9-3 NECC) after the pair of games.

Both teams return to play tomorrow. The Nighthawks travel to Wheelock for a doubleheader starting at 11:00 a.m., while Becker hosts Elms College for a pair starting at noon.