Pelletier shuts out Thomas as softball splits home doubleheader

Kirsten Pelletier's first start on Bates' home Lafayette Street Field was a four-hit shutout of Thomas College, as the Bobcats split a doubleheader on April 17, 2017. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- In the first games played on its home field this season, the Bates College softball team split a doubleheader with Thomas College, winning Game 1 2-0 behind the pitching of first-year Kirsten Pelletier before the visiting Terriers rallied for a 4-3 victory in Game 2.

Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) threw a complete-game four-hitter in Game 1 with eight strikeouts, raising her record to 4-4 as Bates (6-8) broke a four-game skid.

Thomas (4-16) rallied from a 3-0 deficit in Game 2 with four runs in the fifth inning off of Bates sophomore Sam Fellers (Mendham, N.J.), stopping its own four-game losing streak.

Both teams will play road doubleheaders on Tuesday starting at 3pm: Bates plays at the University of New England while Thomas is at Endicott College.

Game 1 Recap

Bates scored individual runs in the first and third innings off of Thomas starter Sydney LeBourveau (3-7), and it was all the Bobcats needed to win for the first time since their Florida trip in March. 

Pelletier allowed only two baserunners beyond first base in the game en route to her first collegiate shutout. 

Thomas's best threat came in the fifth inning, when Kayla Bess led off with a single to right. She was bunted to second base by Lauren Farina, then bunted to third by Lauren Guppy. The Terriers' ninth hitter, Madison Bentz, laid down Thomas's third straight bunt, which Bates senior catcher Tori Fitzgerald (Holliston, Mass.) fielded before quickly tagging Bess en route to home plate to end the inning.

Sophomore Andrea Russo (Cheshire, Conn.) led off the first for Bates with an infield single, stole second base and scored on senior Maddie Inlow's (Falmouth, Maine) single through the left side. 

Bates added a run in the third, loading the bases before first-year Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) scored from third base on a wild pitch. Panepinto had reached on a single to right field, followed by an infield single for Fitzgerald and a walk drawn by first-year Julia Treadwell (Falmouth, Maine).

LeBourveau allowed two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out six Bobcats over six innings.

Game 2 Recap

Fellers (2-4) held Thomas scoreless on two hits through the first four innings, while Bates scored two in the first inning and one in the third to build a 3-0 lead.

Fellers struck out Bess to lead off the fifth, but the Terriers then landed three consecutive bloop singles to load the bases: Chiara Stone landed the first one in short center field, Guppy followed with another to left field, and Cassie Contigiani singled to shallow right to load the bases. Bates got the second out as Stone was forced out at home on Katie Taylor's ground ball to shortstop. 

Courtney Veilleux stepped up and delivered a two-out, two-run single to left field, scoring Contigiani and Guppy. Korrie Laren followed with a two-run double to left center, scoring Veilleux and Taylor as the Terriers took their first lead of the day at 4-3.

Thomas's Lexi Colpack led off the sixth with a single off of Fellers and made it to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch, prompting Bates head coach McKell Barnes to bring Pelletier on in relief. Bess's fly ball to left became a double play as sophomore Mimi Crowley (Barnstable, Mass.) threw out Colpack at home, and Pelletier got out of the inning by striking out Stone.

Russo led off the first inning with a triple to right center, and Bates had the quick lead thanks to an illegal pitch thrown by Thomas starter Chelsea Hale. Panepinto then walked, stole second and advance to third on a wild pitch, and Inlow gave Bates runners at the corners with a walk. Inlow was then thrown out by Stone trying to steal second base, allowing Panepinto to score on a delayed steal from third.

The Bobcats added an unearned run in the third, with Pelletier leading off by reaching on a throwing error. Pelletier tried to take an extra base on Russo's bunt single and was caught in a rundown for Bates' first out. But Russo made it to second on a wild pitch and on to third on Panepinto's groundout. Inlow then drove her home with a single to center for a 3-0 Bates lead.

Fellers (2-4) was charged with all four Thomas runs on eight hits with no walks. Pelletier threw two shutout innings in relief, allowing one hit and striking out two.

Hale gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings before giving way to Haley Little (1-5), who earned her first victory with 3 1/3 shutout innings on two hits and no walks.