Softball splits doubleheader with University of New England

Julia Panepinto had three hits over two games in Bates' split doubleheader at the University of New England on April 18, 2017. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College.) 

BIDDEFORD, Maine -- The Bates softball team rapped out 12 hits in defeating the University of New England 3-1 Tuesday in the opening game of a non-conference doubleheader, but the host Nor'easters rallied in the second game to win 4-3 in eight innings.

Sydney Helmbrecht knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning as the University of New England rallied to defeat Bates College, 4-3, in the nightcap of a softball doubleheader on Tuesday (Apr. 18) at Bill Doran Field. The Bobcats took the opener by a 3-1 margin.

Game 1 Recap

Bates totaled 12 hits -- all singles -- during the Game 1 victory. Pelletier was joined by senior Maddie Inlow (Falmouth, Maine), sophomore Sam Fellers (Mendham, N.J.) and first-year Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) with two apiece.

Fitzgerald opened the scoring in the first, driving in Russo. Then, in the third, back-to-back two-out hits from Pelletier and sophomore Andrea Russo (Cheshire, Conn.) with the bases loaded scored first-year Julia Treadwell (Falmouth, Maine) and sophomore Mimi Crowley (Barnstable, Mass.) for a 3-1 lead.

Fellers was the triumphant pitcher for the Bobcats, giving up one run on six hits and three walks with one strikeout over six innings. First-year Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) tossed one clean inning for her first career save.

Sydney Helmbrecht had a team-high two hits for UNE; hits by Avery Alberghini and Caroline Schoenbucher  combined for the lone run in the last half of the first.

Attempting to chip away at the two-run deficit in the fifth and sixth, the Nor'easters left a total of five runners aboard.

Bailey Tremblay took the loss for the hosts, going five innings with three strikeouts. 

Game 2 Recap

With a runner placed on second base to start the eighth inning, Helmbrecht laced an 0-2 pitch to the wall in center field to give the Nor'easters (10-12) their only lead of the day and the win.

Helmbrecht also factored in the inning-ending double play that got UNE out of a similar situation in the top of the 8th, fielding an unassisted out at first base before firing home to negate the potential go-ahead run for Bates (7-9) trying to score from third base.

The Nor'easters trailed 3-2 entering the seventh, but after a lead-off, pinch-hit single by Sydnee Bessler and a sacrifice bunt, Sarah Lachapelle supplied an RBI single back up the middle to tie the game.

The Bobcats were the first to break into the scoreboard in the second when Russo guided an RBI single through the left side, and an error on the play opened the door for another run to cross.

That edge didn't last long, as UNE leveled the contest 2-2 on a two-run single up the middle by Melissa Jakubowski. Tallying the initial run was Gabby Harrison, who had doubled.

Sophomore Mimi Crowley (Barnstable, Mass.), already with a single and run to her credit, shifted the Bobcats back in front in the third with a two-out RBI single. Senior Tori Fitzgerald (Holliston, Mass.) scored the go-ahead run after the first of her two singles.

The next four innings went scoreless, in spite of numerous chances both ways.

Jakubowski fanned five and surrendered two earned runs over five innings in a starting role, and Katelyn Austin worked the ensuing two innings with a pair of strikeouts. Bessler needed only five pitches to exit the circle for UNE in the eighth and earn the win.

Pelletier took the loss for Bates, giving up two earned runs with three strikeouts and no walks.

The Bobcats, who registered 10 singles to out-hit their opponent by two, received three from Russo.

Bates will host a doubleheader against UMaine-Farmington Wednesday at 3:30pm.