WESTFIELD – The Fitchburg State University softball team registered a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) sweep over host Westfield State University on Sunday. The Falcons held on for a 4-3 victory in the opening contest and edged the Owls, 3-2, in the nightcap.
Fitchburg State improves to 14-20 overall and 6-4 in the conference, while Westfield State falls to 7-22 and 4-6 in conference play.
Fitchburg State 4, Westfield State 3 (Game 1)
In game one, Fitchburg State grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as junior Ashley Forgues (Fitchburg, Mass./Fitchburg) led with single to left field and freshman Tori Cyrus (Everett, Mass./Everett) blasted her first collegiate home run over the left center field fence.
The Falcons upped their lead in the next inning as junior Kerry Alcott (Groton, Mass./Groton Dunstable) connected for her first collegiate homer to deep left field for the 3-0 advantage.
Westfield cut the deficit to one as sophomore Breanne Bisceglia (Worcester, Mass./Burncoat) plated senior Courtney Begin (Salem, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) and crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly off the bat of classmate Kelsey Carpenter (Barre, Mass./Mt. Everett) to make the score 3-2 after four innings.
The Falcons regained a two-run lead in the top of the sixth inning when sophomore Amanda Whitelaw (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) opened the stanza with a walk and scored on an RBI double by classmate Colleen Flaherty (Stoughton, Mass./Stoughton) for the 4-2 lead.
The Owls made one more rally in the final inning as freshman Kate Woishnis (Chicopee, Mass./Chicopee) singled in to score Carpenter and put runners on second and third with two outs but Falcon hurler Brittany Whiting (Sharon, Mass./Sharon) recorded a strikeout to secure the 4-3 victory.
Whiting allowed three earned runs and three hits with nine strikeouts, while junior Kelley Fluet (Worcester, Mass./Doherty) suffered the setback for Westfield State, yielding just two earned runs on five hits and seven Ks.
Fitchburg State 3, Westfield State 2 (Game 2)
In the nightcap, Fitchburg State received some timely hitting, using a three-run sixth inning to defeat the Westfield State Owls, 3-2, to complete the conference sweep.
Flaherty led the Falcons offensive second-game charge, going 2-for-3 at the dish with a double and two RBI, while Binnall added a single, one run scored and one RBI.
Begin was solid for the Owls, registering two hits with an RBI, while Woishnis and Bisceglia aided the offense, posting two hits each.
On the mound, Alcott picked up win for Fitchburg State, allowing just one earned run on eight hits with five Ks in the complete-game effort. Sophomore Emily Mailloux (Erving, Mass./Turners Falls) took the loss for the Owls, giving up three earned runs on six hits and seven punchouts.
Westfield State threatened in the opening frame as they proceeded to load the bases on hits from Begin, Bisceglia and Carpenter, but Alcott was able to work out of jam by inducing a groundout and a fly out to keep the game scoreless.
The Owls opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when Woishis singled to shortstop, stole second, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on base hit by Begin for the 1-0 lead.
Fitchburg State nearly knotted the score in the top of the fifth inning as Flaherty laced a double to left center to start the inning off, but Mailloux settled down, getting a pair of pop outs and a strikeout.
The Falcons responded in the following inning, scoring three times on three hits. Junior Marissa Binnall (Fitchburg, Mass./Fitchburg) and Cyrus collected RBI singles and Flaherty delivered a clutch two-run double to left center, scoring both Binnall and Cyrus to take a 3-1 advantage.
The hosts made one last attempt in the bottom of the seventh inning when junior Amanda Flower (Reading, Mass./Reading) reached on a muffed throw at first following a bunt, and eventually scored on a RBI ground out by junior Molly Dunbar (Weymouth, Mass./Notre Dame Academy).
Fitchburg State returns to action on Tuesday as it hosts the Lancers of Worcester State University for a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m. Westfield State visits MCLA on Tuesday for a twinbill starting at 2:00 p.m.