RINDGE, N.H. — The Franklin Pierce University softball team took to the field at the Bisaccia Softball Complex for the first time this season on Saturday, for a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader with Bentley University. ]
A three-run seventh helped the Ravens come back to win the first leg, 6-5, on a walk-off single by freshman Ashley Cangiano. Later, seven early runs pushed the Ravens to a run-rule victory, 8-0, in just five innings in the second game.
With the wins, Franklin Pierce improves to 6-2 (5-1 NE10), while Bentley opens its season at 0-2 (0-2 NE10). The two teams were originally scheduled to meet again on Sunday at Franklin Pierce to wrap up the four-game season series, but Sunday’s action has been postponed, due to impending wet weather. No makeup date has yet been set.
In Saturday’s first game a three-run home run by senior Gina Hinckley in the third gave Franklin Pierce a 3-1 lead in the middle innings. However, Bentley came up with a three-run bomb of its own in the fifth and took a 5-3 lead into the seventh.
After graduate student Madi Killebrew drew a walk in the seventh, Hinckley moved her to second with a single, and just like that, the winning run was at the plate for the Ravens.
Freshman Jenna Murray singled home Killebrew to cut the deficit to 5-4 and put the tying run in scoring position. Junior Allie Martinez doubled home the runner from second with a shot to center to tie the game, which also moved Murray around to third.
Then Cangiano entered the box and sent a ball back up the middle and into the outfield to bring Murray home and send the Ravens out of the dugout in celebration of a 6-5 win.
Freshman Samantha Sylvester got the start for Franklin Pierce, worked four innings, gave up five hits, allowed one run and picked up three strikeouts without factoring in the decision. Sophomore Madison Labrie earned the win (1-0) out of the bullpen after allowing one run on two hits over the game’s final two innings.
In the second game, Franklin Pierce got the bats working in short order and put up three runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Bentley went in order in the top of the third, which allowed the red-hot Franklin Pierce offense to continue to strike and push the lead out to 6-0.
The game eventually ended via the eight-run rule in the fifth inning.
Senior right-hander Cyrena Zemaitis breezed through the Bentley lineup with relative ease to pick up the win (4-0) in the second game. Over five scoreless innings, she struck out seven of the 16 batters she faced, did not issue a walk and surrendered just one hit.
The Ravens are scheduled to be back in action on Thursday April 1, for a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Assumption.