Softball splits with Clark in crosstown showdown

Samantha Lee

LEICESTER, Mass. --- The Becker College softball team split their double-header against visiting Clark University on Tuesday afternoon at Russell Field, winning game one, 5-3, before falling short in game two, 4-0.

The short-handed Hawks of Becker run their overall record to 18-12 while the Cougars of Clark head back to Worcester with an 8-24 record.

Game One saw Clark jump out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when senior Sami West (Gonic, N.H. / Spaulding) scored from third off a passed ball. In the bottom of the inning, however, Becker senior outfielder Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass. / Amherst) hit her fifth home run of the season on a solo shot to left field, tying it at 1-1. In the bottom of the second, Becker freshman Alyssa Columb (Manchester, N.H. / Manchester Central) scored from third on an error, giving the Hawks their first lead of the game. Becker padded their lead in the bottom of the third inning with three more runs, those coming off an RBI double from Carkhuff to score freshman shortstop Sarah Ellis (Berkley, Mass. / Bristol County Agricultural), then a bases loaded walk drawn by Columb to bring home Carkhuff, then later an RBI fielder's choice from senior Jennifer Boxell (Marlborough, Mass. / Marlborough) that saw senior pitcher Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn. / Woodland) beat the throw home from third as the Hawks went ahead 5-1. In the top of the fourth, the Cougars rallied, as sophomore Christina Kopacz (North Grosvenordale, Conn. / Tourtellotte Memorial) scored off an error, then West drew a bases loaded walk to allow senior Anjelica Gonzalez (Merrimack, N.H. / Merrimack) to score. That was as close as the Cougars would get, however, as the Hawks closed out the game for a 5-3 victory.

In the second game, West took the circle for Clark and put on a clinic, allowing just one hit over seven innings in a complete game shutout that saw her strikeout 13 Hawks. Becker junior Brianna Herforth (Peru, Mass. / Wahconah Regional) had the only hit of the day for the hosts, that a harmless single off the glove of the diving shortstop in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Cougars did all the damage they need in the top of the first, as Gonzalez hit a two-RBI double and junior Taylor Erickson (Natick, Mass. / Natick) drove in two more runs on a single.

Lee pitched both games for the Hawks, striking out 15 Cougars in 14 innings and allowing just three earned runs.

Becker is back on the field on Wednesday when they play another non-conference double-header at Fitchburg State at 3:00 p.m. Clark wraps up their regular season on Friday when they host Anna Maria College in a 3:00 p.m. double-header.

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