BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. - After a long dry spell in conference play it took the Massachusetts Maritime Academy softball team just one hour and seven minutes to get into the Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference win column with a 6-0 victory in game one of a double header over Westfield State University. The WSU Owls bounced back in the second game to claim a 13-0 victory.
The Buccaneers (3-19, 1-9 MASCAC) sent sophomore pitcher Jenna Nalette (Goffstown, N.H.) to the circle for the opener and Nalette, backed by near flawless defense, held the Owls to just three hits over seven innings to break a MASCAC winless streak that extended back to April 16, 2005 when MMA defeated the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts by a score of 4-3. The last time Massachusetts Maritime defeated Westfield State in conference play was on April 10, 2005 by a 3-2 score. It was the 13th shutout in program history, but only the fourth seven-inning game and the first in league play since April 19, 2002 against Framingham State (a 1-0 win).
The Owls (10-16, 6-4 MASCAC) managed to get runners into scoring position just three times with Nalette forcing a ground out with a runner at third in the seventh to end the game.
MMA opened the scoring in the first game of the afternoon pushing three runs across in the bottom of the second inning with Rachel Gardner (Bourne, Mass.), Nalette and Melissa Cochrane (Walpole, Mass.) each driving in runs. The Bucs added a run in the third when Madison Coughlin (Monroe, CT) scored on a base hit by Gardner to take a 4-0 lead.
The Buccaneers picked up their fifth and sixth runs in the sixth when Kaylene Murphy (Randolph, Mass.) drove in Rachel Turley (Marshfield, Mass.) and Gardner scored on a sacrifice bunt by Cochrane. Gardner finished the early game 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBI.
Emily Arredondo (Woburn, Mass.) got the opening game start for the Owls going five and a third frames allowing six runs on eight hits before turning the ball over to Kara Fluet (Worcester, Mass.) who picked up the final two outs of the sixth.
Sophomore Emily Woodworth (Marlborough, Mass.) was in the circle for the Owls in game two picking up the shutout 13-0 win allowing eight hits. MMA had runners in scoring position four times over the seven inning contest and ended up stranding nine. The Buccaneers had runners on base in every inning except for the fifth.
Westfield scored three times in the top of the sixth inning and then broke the game open in the seventh sending 15 batters to the plate and scoring another 10 times. Maddie Keigwin (Sutton, Mass.) finished the day for the Owls 3-for-3 and scored three times. Fluet went 3-for-5 with a double, scored a pair of runs and drove in two. Bri Tortora (Worcester, Mass.) ended the day 2-for-4 with an RBI triple. Lindsay Cordopatri (Walpole, Mass.) had a pair of hits, both in the seventh inning, scored a run and drove in four.
Cochrane got the start in game two for the Buccaneers going six and a third innings before giving way to Nalette who face nine batters in the final frame. Jill Corazzini went 3-for-3 in the contest, bumping her average to .382, tied for ninth in the MASCAC.
Earlier in the week, Melissa Cochrane earned the team's first MASCAC Honor Roll selection for the week of April 8-14, during which she went 12-for-24 with three doubles, two triples, three stolen bases, and 10 runs scored in eight games for the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers return to action on Monday, April, 23 at Curry College in a double header beginning at 3:30 PM. Westfield State University plays again on Monday, April 23 at home when they will host Smith College in double header action beginning at 3:30 PM.
Dan Crowley, Sports Information Assistant, with additional copy from Gabriel Fidler