NEWTON, Mass. – A seven-run fourth inning proved to be the difference Sunday afternoon as Lasell College went on to a 7-4 victory over Rivier University and give the Lasers a split of a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball doubleheader at Taylor Field. Rivier took the opener, 9-6, in a 24-hit slugfest.
The day started with Lasell honoring its only senior, Ashley Gatchell (Franklin, Mass.), on Senior Day. Gatchell went on to spark the seven-run rally with an RBI double. The Lasers also did an ALS Awareness Day to raise awareness and money for the ALS Foundation, which provides research to help find a cure for ALS.
With the split, Lasell improves to 8-20 overall and 7-9 in the conference, which is tied for seventh place and in solid contention for its first GNAC playoff berth since 2011. Rivier is now 11-23 overall and 6-14 in the GNAC.
Game 1 – Rivier 9, Lasell 6
The Raiders pulled ahead 5-0 in the third inning and 9-2 in the fourth and held on for the win. Lasell plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning but it was too little, too late.
Freshman Nicolette Genkos (Worcester, Mass.) had two hits, including a double, and three RBI for the Lasers, while sophomore Arianna Genovese (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and freshmen Shayna Fondini (Burlington, Mass.) and Sarah Walton (Poland, Maine) also had two hits apiece.
Rivier took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run single by junior Mikayla Ramsdell (Salem, N.H.). The Raiders extended the lead to 5-0 in the third on an RBI single by sophomore Taylor Rowsell (Chelmsford, Mass.) and a two-run hit by freshman Kellie Kennedy (Hudson, N.H.)
The Lasers got on the board in the bottom of the third when sophomore Victoria Spellman (Rocky Hill, Conn.) tripled and scored on a passed ball, and freshman Carly VanDeusen (North Haven, Conn.) knocked in a run with an infield ground out.
Rivier plated four runs in the top of the fourth, two coming home on a Lasell error and Ramsdell also drove in a run. Lasell got one back in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI double by Genovese, and added three more in the bottom of the seventh with a bases-loaded, three-run double by Genkos.
Ramsdell and freshman Julie Dailey (Dracut, Mass.) had three this apiece for Rivier, and Rowsell and Kennedy had two hits each.
Game 2 – Lasell 7, Rivier 4
The Raiders scored first with a run in the second inning on an RBI single by freshman Morgan Pratt (Pelham, N.H.), and pulled ahead 4-0 with three runs in the top of the fourth. Rowsell doubled and Ramsdell singled with no outs and both runners came home on a Lasell error. Pratt brought home an additional run with a sacrifice fly.
Lasell staged its big rally in the bottom of the fourth with seven runs on eight hits. After leadoff singles by Walton and VanDeusen set the table, Gatchell delivered an RBI double and Fondini followed with an RBI single. Gatchell stole home on the back end of a double steal; Spellman later added an RBI single; Genovese followed with a run-scoring double; freshman Bethany Hector (Jaffrey, N.H.) brought home a run with a sacrifice fly, and Walton capped the rally with an RBI single.
The Lasers continue their string of five doubleheaders in five days on Monday with a GNAC make-up twin bill at Taylor Field against Emmanuel College, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Rivier is back in action on Friday with a conference doubleheader at Simmons College (5:00 p.m.)
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