Fitchburg State Splits With New England College

Falcons edge Pilgrims, 3-2 in game one; fall 5-4 in game two

FITCHBURG, Mass. (April 27, 2011) – The Fitchburg State softball team earned a non-conference split with New England College this afternoon, posting a 3-2 victory in game one before falling, 5-4 in game two.

Fitchburg State 3, New England College 2

Fitchburg State rallied from two runs down in the opener, picking up its 14th victory of the season sparked by strong offensive performance from senior Karen Skoczylas (Palmer, Mass./Palmer).

Skoczylas led the Falcons, going 1-for-2 with a homerun, two runs scored and one RBI, while sophomore Jill Moses (Dedham, Mass./Dedham) finished 1-for-3 on the afternoon. Freshman Megan Breault (Palmer, Mass./Palmer) was also strong, chipping in with a run scoring single.

New England College quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top half of the first inning, using a two-run single from Alyssa Hoot (Waterville, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) but Fitchburg State responded with a blast off the bat of Skoczylas to cut its deficit in half. The Falcons answered again in the third frame as Moses and sophomore Kelly Bourgea (Malden, Mass./Malder) connected for back-to-back RBI singles to plate a pair of grab a 3-2 advantage.

 After gaining the lead, Fitchburg State senior Nicole Monroe (Pepperell, Mass./North Middlesex) settled in, and kept the New England College bats at bay for the rest of the contest. Monroe earned the victory for the Falcons, giving up just two runs on five hits, while fanning five. Sophomore Gabrielle Timms (Clark Summit, Pa./Lakeland) took the loss for the Pilgrims, yielding just the three runs and four hits over her complete game effort.

Junior Stephanie Freitag (Lakeville, Mass./Apponequet) registered multiple hits for the Pilgrims, notching a 2-for-3 effort, while Hoot added a two-run single.

New England College 5, Fitchburg State 4

New England College bounced back in the nightcap, earning a twinbill split with a 5-4 victory in game two. Freshman Elizabeth Harrigan (Weston, Conn./Wheaton) led the Pilgrim, game-two charge with a 4-for-4 effort at the plate, including a triple, a run scored and one RBI, while classmate LiAnn Linck (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) went 2-for-4 with a homerun and three RBI.

The Pilgrims came out firing again in game two, taking an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but rallied back with three runs in the second to post a 3-1 margin. Freshman Nancy Henry (Forestdale, Mass./Sandwich) provided the big boost for the Falcons with a two-run double, while classmate Shannon Fitzgerald (Blackstone, Mass./Blackstone Regional) added an RBI single.

 New England responded over the next two frames, posting three runs on five hits to take a 4-3 lead. Linck ignited Pilgrim rallies, connecting for a two-run homerun in the fourth and an RBI double in the fifth. Fitchburg State knotted the score (4-4) in the sixth with a single by freshman Jessica Drago (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton), but NEC manufactured the eventual game-winning run in the seven with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Freitag.

In the circle, Drago suffered the loss in relief for the Falcons, yielding two runs on five hits over two innings of work. Henry tossed the first four innings for Fitchburg State, earning a no decision with three runs allowed on six hits. Sophomore Meghan Beausoleil (Littleton, NH/Univ. of Maine Orono) earned the win for NEC, surrendering just one run on two hits over her two innings of relief.

Fitchburg State (14-21, 5-7 MASCAC) returns to action Saturday as it travels to Westfield State at 12 p.m. New England College (15-19 13-11 TCCC) will host Johnson and Wales University on Friday at 3:30 p.m.