LEICESTER, Mass. – Buccaneer softball came very close to claiming a win in the first game of a doubleheader thanks to great pitching from Melissa Cochrane, but a late rally and a convincing nightcap victory spelled sweep for host Becker College.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy started off well, as Cochrane singled up the middle and advanced to second on a passed ball. A Madison Ovadek safety moved Cochrane to third and Carli Thomas nailed a squeeze bunt to plate the game's first run. Alas, Ovadek was stranded on second to end the frame.
In the second, Madison Coughlin led off with a single and Savannah Leite replaced her on a fielder's choice. After a strikeout by the Hawks' Samantha Lee, Kaylene Murphy doubled to center, putting two runners in scoring position, but the Bucs could not get the run home.
Cochrane was still dealing, sending down the first seven batters of the game before allowing a hit and facing no danger until two outs in the fourth. After a free pass and fielder's choice, Becker's Megan Klemanchuk stole second and advanced to third on the error, scoring on a Lee double through the right side to draw the game even at one.
Murphy singlehandedly gave the Academy the lead, starting off the fifth with her second two-bagger, moving to third on a sacrifice. With the heart of the order up, Murphy showed the pluck for which she is known, scampering home on the pitch for MMA's first steal of home this year.
Becker answered in the bottom of the frame, however, using two singles, a bunt, and a groundball to plate two runs. A Lee solo shot in the bottom of the game iced the 4-2 victory for the Hawks.
Cochrane (0-5) was the exceptionally hard-luck loser, surrendering only six baserunners and two earned runs, striking out three. Lee went the distance to improve to 4-6, and despite the Bucs outhitting Becker 7-5, a season high for MMA, she allowed only one earned run on seven hits without a free pass. Lee struck out five.
The second game was all Becker as the club plated four runs in the third and another seven an inning later. Down 11-0, however, Maritime's softballers mounted their biggest inning of the season in the fourth.
An Ovadek single once more sparked a rally and she was followed by a one-base hit from Jill Corazzini. Both scored on errors, while a Coughlin no-out hit plated two more. Despite another sacrifice bunt, the Bucs could not send any more runners across home plate and the Hawks walked off using the mercy rule in the fifth.
Carli Thomas (0-3) took the loss, spinning three innings in the circle, struggling with her control. Cochrane returned to rubber to finish the game, concluding with 1 1/3 frames without an earned run.
Samantha Belenchia (2-4) earned the win despite giving up another seven hits, but also did not walk a batter, sending down two on strikes. She was backed up by a 14-hit, five-walk attack that featured a stolen base and three hits from Rebecca Carkhuff, including a two-bagger. Sarah Ellis had two doubles, while Klemanchuk was 2-for-3 with a base swipe.
The 14 hits combined for Maritime were by far the team's best effort. Corazzini was 3-for-3 in the rubber match to raise her average to .310, while Ovadek was 4-for-6 on the day and is hitting .360 on the year.
The diamond women are right back in action on Thursday, travelling to Pine Manor College for a 2 p.m. doubleheader. One of the two clubs will gain its first win of the year as each has been stymied by weather and other factors.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate