Bowdoin's offense comes alive, sweeps softball in doubleheader

Sophomore Julia Panepinto homered in game two of Saturday's doubleheader against the Bowdoin College Polar Bears. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bowdoin College Polar Bears tallied 15 hits on Friday but fell to Bates softball 6-4. On Saturday, the Polar Bears (24-8, 9-3 NESCAC) converted a combined 29 hits into 22 runs to sweep the Bobcats (16-12, 2-7 NESCAC) in a doubleheader by scores of 8-0 and 14-5. 

The Bobcats visit Husson for a non-conference doubleheader on Monday before taking on Colby in a crucial three-game series to wrap up the regular season this upcoming Friday and Saturday.

Game One: Bowdoin 8, Bates 0 (5 innings) 

The Polar Bears scored two in the first to take an early lead and did not look back, defeating Bates 8-0 in game one of Saturday's doubleheader. 

Lauren O'Shea went 2-2 at the plate with three runs scored, a run batted in and a walk. Her first inning homer put the Polar Bears up 1-0. Then Bowdoin put runners at first and second with two outs and Natalie Edwards singled in a run to make it 2-0.

Bates threatened but did not score in the bottom of the first against Bowdoin starter Samantha Roy (3-1). 

First-year Caroline Bass (Newton, Mass.) singled to start the frame. One out later sophomore Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) singled as well. Both runners advanced 60 feet on a wild pitch but back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning with Bass and Pelletier stranded in scoring position.

First-year Payton Buxton (Middlebury, Vt.) retired the side in order in the second and first-year Mary Collette (Watertown, Conn.) walked to begin the bottom half of the inning. Two outs later senior captain Tori Fitzgerald (Holliston, Mass.) drew a walk but Collette got caught stealing to end the inning.

Bowdoin added two more in the top of the third. O'Shea doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Caroline Rice single. Edwards tripled in a run later in the inning to extend the Bowdoin lead to 4-0.

The Bobcats couldn't get anything going on offense and Bowdoin went up 8-0 thanks to four runs in the fourth inning that featured a solo home run from Ruby Siltanen and RBI singles from Rice and Claire McCarthy. 

First-year Jevan Sandhu (Plymouth, N.H.) pitched an inning and a third of scoreless ball out of the bullpen and she singled to lead off the fifth. But Bates got held scoreless again as Roy completed the shutout. 

Bass went 2-3 at the plate in game one and Pelletier went 1-2. 

Game Two: Bowdoin 14, Bates 5 (6 innings)

The Polar Bears rode an eight-run fourth inning to defeat Bates 14-5 in game two of Saturday's doubleheader.

Bates took an early lead against Polar Bear starter Allison Rutz (8-2) thanks to three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Bass reached on an infield single to start the frame. Junior Andrea Russo (Cheshire, Conn.) drew a walk and Pelletier executed a perfect bunt to load the bases. Senior Paige Ahlholm (North Andover, Mass.) singled in Bass and sophomore Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) singled in two runs to make the score 3-0 in favor of Bates.

Pelletier kept the Polar Bears in check in the circle until the third inning. O'Shea singled in a run and McCarthy doubled in two, tying the game at three. Then Edwards hit a two-run homer to put Bowdoin ahead for good. 

More hits followed and when the dust cleared Bowdoin had eight runs on nine hits in the inning, taking an 8-3 lead over the Bobcats.

Pelletier blanked the Polar Bears the next two innings and in the fifth the Bobcats cut the deficit to three. With one away, Pelletier singled to right field. Then with two down, Panepinto smacked her second home run of the season to make the score 8-5.

But Bowdoin scored four times in the top of the sixth to take command of the game. Edwards added an RBI single in the inning, giving her five runs batted in on the day.

Pelletier (9-8) struck out six and did not walk anyone in a complete game for Bates. Rutz picked up the win, going five innings and giving up five runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out three. 

The Polar Bears tallied 18 hits in the contest, half of them coming in the third inning. Pelletier, Panepinto and Collette all notched two hits for Bates, with Panepinto driving in four runs.