DANBURY, Conn. - Molly St. Germain tossed a complete game shutout to help power the Keene State College softball team to a 7-0 win over Western Connecticut State University in the first of two contests Sunday afternoon at Westside Field. The Colonials turned the tables and won 8-0 in five innings in the second game.
- Keene State: 5-11, 1-1 LEC
- Western Connecticut: 13-7, 1-3 LEC
How It Happened - Game One
By far the last team to make their conference debut in 2019, Keene State started Little East play strong, riding a complete game shutout and seven hits from the top three in the lineup for a blowout win. St. Germain allowed just three hits and one walk while facing four over the minimum in her seven innings, and went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk at the plate. Emma Pede had a double, triple, sacrifice fly, and drove in three runs in a 2-for-2 effort. Julie Elwell went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Elwell's single to lead off the game paved the way for a KSC lead in the first inning, as Pede's double later scored St. Germain, whose fielder's choice replaced Elwell on the bases, for a 1-0 lead. That would prove to be more than enough for the Owl senior in the circle, as she struck out a pair in the first inning and only had one frame where more than one runner was on base at a time. Keene State pulled away in the third, as Meghan Moran and Elwell each singled to put runners on first and third with one out. An attempted double steal brought home a second run despite Elwell getting thrown out, and the Owls doubled the lead after that, as a triple from Pede followed a double from St. Germain for a 3-0 advantage. Pede later scored herself on a wild pitch. Leading 4-0, KSC added a run in the fifth with a pair of singles and both a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, and two more in the seventh on Pede's fly to left and Brooke Arruda's groundout.
St. Germain improved to 3-5 on the season and shut out WestConn on the road for the second consecutive season, last year winning 1-0. Angelina Miller (3-1) lost after allowing four runs and six hits over 2 2/3 innings.
How It Happened - Game Two
The Owls were on the other end of a shutout in the second game, as the Colonials scored five in the second inning and were never threatened. St. Germain chipped in a 2-for-2 effort at the plate, but Keene State had just three hits against Sara Tenke (3-2). Western Connecticut had just six hits, but the top two in their lineup combined to go 4-for-6 with four runs batted in.
KSC did threaten to take the lead in the top of the first inning, as St. Germain doubled with one out, but a strikeout and a pop up ended the threat. WestConn went down in order, two by strikeout, in their half of the inning against Alexis Blanchette, but the hosts then blew the game open with five runs in the second. Charline Plasczynski doubled to start the inning, and wound up scoring after advancing on a pair of passed balls, one coming after Erica Bower struck out but reached first. Another miscue resulted in a 2-0 WestConn lead. The Colonials blew the game open later in the inning after a bunt single and Tenke's two-run single up the middle. Down 5-0, the Owls did put two runners on with two down in their half of the third, but that threat went by the boards and WestConn put up three more runs in that same inning.
Blanchette (1-4) allowed five runs (one earned) over 1 2/3 innings, striking out three. Only one of the eight runs KSC allowed was earned. Tenke went the distance, allowing three hits while striking out six for the Colonials.
Around the Horn
- St. Germain now has eight complete games this season (in eight starts) and 44 for her career in 55 starts. She also now leads the Owls in hitting with a .362 batting average (17-for-47).
- The split was nothing new in the all-time series, which is still even at 27-27-1. In fact, this year's doubleheader followed the same script as last year's, with the teams swapping shutouts at the same venue in Danbury. Last year, KSC won 1-0 behind St. Germain before falling 5-0 in the second game.
- Keene State returns home to take on Castleton University for two Little East games Tuesday, April 9 at 3:30 pm.
- WestConn hosts cross-state rival Eastern Connecticut State University on the same day at 5:00 pm.