Softball's offense explodes for 21 hits in 15-6 win at Saint Joseph's

Senior Andrea Russo went 4-4 at the plate with three runs batted in to help the Bates softball team defeat Saint Joseph's College 15-6 on Thursday, April 4, 2019. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

STANDISH, Maine -- Senior Andrea Russo and sophomore Mary Collette both went 4-4 at the plate and the Bates softball team rallied from an early 5-0 deficit to defeat Saint Joseph's College 15-6 in six innings Thursday night. 

The Bobcats (5-13) tallied 21 hits in the victory, their most in one game since 2012. It's also more than they had tallied in their previous five games combined. Collette (Watertown, Conn.) recorded the only extra base hit of the contest for Bates, a double in the second inning. She also scored two runs, drove in a run, and drew a walk. Russo (Cheshire, Conn.) drove in three runs, scored a run, and drew a walk. First-year Janell Sato (Honolulu, Hawaii) went 2-4 at the plate with four runs scored, an RBI and a walk. Junior Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) finished 3-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Sophomore Dulce Alcantara (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) also had a big day at the plate, going 2-4 with three runs batted in on the evening.

After sophomore Payton Buxton (Middlebury, Vt.) struggled in the first inning, fellow sophomore Jevan Sandhu (Plymouth, N.H.) righted the ship out of the bullpen, allowing one run on one hit in two and a third innings pitched. Sandhu (1-0) earned the win and junior Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) earned a save with three innings of shutout ball to end the game. Pelletier scattered four hits and struck out four batters. Bates pitching combined to walk just one batter in the contest.

The Monks (2-11) scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning against Buxton, but none of the runs were earned. An error allowed Libby Pomerleau to reach to start the frame and one out later Meghan Elliott doubled her home. With two away, the Monks tallied four straight hits, three of which were doubles, to go up 5-0. Sandhu entered the game and retired the first batter she faced to end the inning.

Down 5-0, Collette got the Bates rally started in the second with a one-out double. Russo singled her to third and Alcantara singled Collette home to get Bates on the scoreboard. First-year Emily Samar (New York, N.Y.) singled in Russo, cutting the Monk lead to 5-2.

Sato singled to start the third inning and advanced to second on an error. One out later, Collette singled Sato to third. Russo singled home Sato and Alcantara singled home Collette to trim the deficit to 5-4.

The Monks tallied a run in the bottom of the third, making the score 6-4. But Bates took the lead for good in the top of the fourth. First-year Kennedy Ishii (Honolulu, Hawaii) drew a lead-off walk. Two outs later, Sato reached on an error and Ishii scored on the play. Panepinto singled Sato to second and Collette tied the game with a single of her own. Russo drew a walk, chasing Monk starter Kate Whitney (1-5) from the game. Madeline Wood entered the game and Alcantara reached on an error; Panepinto scored on the play to put the Bobcats ahead 7-6.

The Bobcats scored three more runs in the top of the fifth. With one out, sophomore Caroline Bass (Newton, Mass.) singled. First-year Aleah Pagan (Orinda, Calif.) followed with a single of her own and Sato drew a walk to load the bases. Panepinto singled home two runners and Collette drew a walk to load the bases again. Russo singled in Sato and Bates led 10-6.

Caitlyn King replaced Wood in the circle to begin the sixth inning and the Bates offense went to work, with sophomore Abra Kaplan (Oak Park, Ill.) smacking a single and Bass drawing a walk. First-year Danielle Polirer (Bellmore, N.Y.), Sato, Panepinto, Collette and Russo combined to hit five consecutive singles and Alcantara capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

Now down by nine, the Monks loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth against Pelletier, only to see the second team All-NESCAC selection get the next three hitters out without a run crossing the plate, ending the game.

The Monks recorded 10 hits on the day and committed three errors in the field. Maizie Lee paced the Monks at the plate, going 2-3 with a run scored, a double, and two RBIs.

Bates returns to NESCAC action Friday when the Bobcats visit Colby for a 4pm first pitch.