Softball drops NESCAC East opener at Trinity

Bates softball dropped its NESCAC opener 9-1 to Trinity on March 30, 2018 in Hartford. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Trinity took the first game of the Bates softball team's opening series of NESCAC East Division play by a 9-1 score Friday, ending the game on the eight-run rule on Courtney Erickson's RBI single in the sixth inning.

The host Bantams (9-5, 1-0 NESCAC East) had taken an 8-0 lead through three innings. Bates (9-4, 0-1) extended the game by an inning on first-year Mary Collette's (Watertown, Conn.) sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth and a shutout sixth thrown by sophomore starter Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine).

Pelletier (5-2) allowed a leadoff double to Michelle Treglia in the bottom of the sixth, and Erickson followed with the game-ending single.

Trinity senior Rachael Smith picked up her fifth win of the season for the Bantams, allowing one earned run on four hits. Erickson went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs while Meaghan Race also drove in two runs.

Bobcat first-year Caroline Bass (Newton, Mass.) went 2-for-3 at the plate, while sophomore Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) went 1-for-1 with two walks.

Trinity got things going in the first when Erica Merullo started the inning with a base hit before swiping second. Merullo advanced to third on a ground ball out by Treglia before crossing the plate on an RBI single by Erickson.

Bates threatened in the top of the second after a walk by Collette and singles from senior Paige Ahlholm (North Andover, Mass.) and Pelletier loaded the bases. But Smith left the bases loaded while keeping the Bobcats off the scoreboard for the time being.

The Bantams scored twice more in the home half thanks to a double to deep left-center by Thomas that scored Nicole Towner, before Thomas later scored on a passed ball.

Trinity took advantage of three Bobcat errors in the third inning to open up an 8-0 advantage, as Thomas and Race both drove in runs on RBI singles.

After a scoreless fourth inning by both sides, Bates stayed alive in the fifth when junior Andrea Russo (Cheshire, Conn.), who led the inning off with a walk, scored on a sacrifice fly by Collette. Pelletier, Bates' starting pitcher, kept the Bantams from scoring in the home half despite getting two runners on with no outs, but the Bantams came through the following inning.

Pelletier (5-2) went 5 1/3 innings and gave up four earned runs on 10 hits and four walks with two strikeouts.

The teams complete the three-game series with a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday.