SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Molly St. Germain went over 200 career strikeouts, hit a home run and recorded a save as the Keene State College softball team split a pair of low-scoring games against Western New England University on Wednesday afternoon at Golden Bear Park. The Owls fell 1-0 in the first game before turning the tables and winning 2-1 in the nightcap.
- Keene State: 5-13
- Western New England: 10-10
How It Happened – Game One
St. Germain (3-7) tossed a complete game, allowing just an unearned run and four hits while striking out four, but the Owls could not scratch anything across against Western New England starter Paige Uliase (5-5). Olivia Indorf went 1-for-2 and drew a walk and JoEllen Racicot recorded a single, but that was all the offense for KSC in the first game.
The fast-moving game was a pitcher's duel throughout, as neither team scored over the first three innings. Indorf walked to begin the second for KSC but did not advance from there, and WNE got a base hit from Tori Fisher with two outs in their half of that same inning, but she was also stranded.
Keene State got a runner in scoring position in the third when Racicot singled up the middle and moved up to second on a bouncer to third from Kristin Boduch, but Shae Crosby bounced into a fielder's choice to end the frame.
Western New England broke through and scored what proved to be the only run of the game in the fourth. Jenn Luba reached on an error to lead off the inning and advanced to third on consecutive groundouts. She was plated when Fisher lined a double to center field that gave the Golden Bears a 1-0 lead.
WNE threatened for more in the fifth with a walk and a single to kick off the frame, but St. Germain got a strikeout and two popups to keep the Owls down just one. Keene State got the tying run on base in the seventh when Indorf singled to right with one out, but a fielder's choice cut her down at second and a strikeout ended the game.
How It Happened – Game Two
The second game was much the same as the first, with pitching carrying the day. Olivia McGrath (1-4) tossed 5.1 innings of one-run ball with three strikeouts to earn her first win of the season and her career before St. Germain came in and closed the door with 1.2 scoreless innings.
St. Germain also provided what turned out to be all the offense KSC would need, as she cranked a two-run homer in the first that gave the Owls a 2-0 advantage. After McGrath worked around trouble in the bottom of the first, Western New England halved the deficit with three hits and a run in the second. Madison Murabito led off the inning with a single to left and, with one out, Emilie Decker's base hit moved her to third. After a walk loaded the bases, Allie Buzzeo's infield hit trimmed Keene State's lead to 2-1. The Owls escaped bases-loaded trouble, though, as McGrath got a grounder to third that cut down a run at home and a fly ball to end the inning.
The Golden Bears threatened again in the third, loading the bases without the benefit of a hit, but Jen Zazzarino struck out to strand all three. The pitchers settled in from there, as neither team mounted a significant threat until the sixth. After KSC stranded a leadoff single in the top of the frame, WNE loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half via two singles and a walk off McGrath. But St. Germain came in and got a line drive double play at first to snuff out the threat. It was déjà vu in the next frame, too, as Fisher reached on a one-out error, but Murabito lined out to first and Fisher was caught too far off second to end the game.
Around the Horn
- St. Germain surpassed 200 strikeouts for her career in the first game. She currently has 203 and needs 10 more to reach tenth on the all-time KSC list.
- St. Germain became the fourth different Owl to hit a home run this season. KSC has four overall, all coming in the last eight games.
- As mentioned, the pitching was stingy for both teams on the day, as the offenses combined for just four runs in the two games.
- Keene State will play a conference doubleheader at Western Connecticut on Saturday, April 14 beginning at 1:00 pm.
- Western New England travels to Westfield State tomorrow, April 12, for another twin bill beginning at 3:30 pm.