Fort Myers, FL- Lasell College softball's plan to pick up their first win of the season today in Fort Myers, Florida was thwarted by the University of New England and Amherst College in consecutive games at the Lee County Sports Complex. University of New England took game one, 8-2, and Amherst inhibited an early Lasell lead rallying to produce an 11-2 victory in five innings in game two.
Against the Nor'Easters, Candace Hankard (Wakefield, MA) went 2-for-3 as a hitter with Kirsten Mammola (North Reading, MA), Rachelle Haas (Middleton, MA), and Santina Antoshak (Closter, NJ) each chipping in with a hit apiece. Mammola and Haas both earned RBI's in the process. Antoshank and Kelly Silvia (Oak Bluffs, MA) were the scoring runners.
UNE put up four runs in the bottom of the first inning after two hits, two errors, and a walk sent Casey Brigham, Ashley Gott, Erin Grover, and Megan Gauger to home bag. It took another full inning before Lasell got into the swing of things and put numbers on the scoreboard.
Silvia scored first after reaching on an error by the Nor'Easters first baseman and scoring on a base hit by Haas. Antoshank followed with a run, brought in by Mammola. The Lasers left the two tying runs on base to end the inning.
Three 1-2-3 innings defensively followed for Lasell closing down the Nor'Easters chances at advancing, however, UNE's bats came alive in the sixth.
Brigham, Gott, and Grover each slashed a single into the outfield to lead off and load the bases at which point Stephanie Podolski stepped in as a pinch hitter and did the job she was sent in to do. Podolski cleared the bases with a grand slam over the left field fence on her second pitch. Lasell was left in a six run deficit through the seventh.
In game two, the Lasers put Ashley Laramie (Lynn, MA) and Michelle Torres (Waltham, MA) in scoring position with one out in the bottom of the second when Laramie tucked a single through the left side and Torres reached on a throwing error by the Jeffs thirdbaseman. Both runners advanced on the error giving way for Marissa McHugh (Plymouth, MA) to earn the RBI bringing Laramie home with a groundout. The Lasers were unable to add more runs but the damage was done as Lasell took a 1-0 lead.
The Lasers edge held through the third when Amherst came back to take the lead with an in-the-park two-run home run by Kaitlin Silkowitz which scored Theresa Kelley.
Lasell put the tying run on third in the second part of the frame when Antoshak walked and Mammola pushed her through to third on a base hit. The two runners were left on the bags after three outs.
The fourth inning put the game away for the Jeffs, scoring six runs on seven hits. Amherst tacked on two more runs in the fifth leaving Lasell in arrears by 10 runs, and in urgent need of runs through the final half inning.
Lasell was successful in bringing Antoshak around the bags in the fifth after she hit a single which sailed past the second baseman. Hankard shot Antoshak home on a double which launched deep to the left field fence for the RBI. Amherst stopped further scoring with a pop-up and a ground out to close the game.
Hankard cranked two hits on three at bats against the Jeffs, earning one RBI. Laramie and Antoshak each had a hit and a run in the contest and Mammola added one hit.
Starting pitcher Samantha Whynot (Randolph, MA) struck out two Amherst batters in three and a third innings of effort.
The Lasers (0-6) return to action in Cape Coral, Florida tomorrow, March 16th at 9:00 a.m. with a game against Edgewood College, followed by an 11:00 a.m. game against Salem State.