NEWPORT, R.I. - Sophomore Kristyn Ryan (Barkhamsted, Conn.) and senior Shannon Martin (Wethersfield, Conn) both pulled three-run homers in the fifth inning of game two to lead Eastern Connecticut State University softball (15-3) to a doubleheader sweep over Salve Regina University (10-12) at Toppa Field. The Warriors led start to finish in game one, 6-2, and used their fifth-inning rally to take game two, 9-5.
Salve Regina junior catcher and co-captain Genevieve Benoit (Swampscott, Mass.) hit a two-run homer in first inning of game one, and had run-scoring hits in first two innings of game two, to finish with five RBI on the day.
Warriors' junior shortstop Alyssa Hancock (Waterford, Conn.), who collected six hits and five runs scored in the twinbill, started the day off with a single to left field. She proceeded to steal her first of seven bags in the non-league meetings. Eastern Connecticut scored three times in the first with only the Hancock hit off starter Kelsey Boarman (No. Dighton, Mass.).
After Benoit's two-run shot in the bottom of the opening frame, her team-leading fourth homer of the season, the score remained 3-2 until the Warriors' fifth inning. Hancock started that rally with a one-out single to shortstop. After stealing second, Hancock moved to third on Samantha Rentz' (Griswold, Conn) bloop single to right field. Both runners scored when Ryan, pinch hitting for starting designated hitter Summer Cipriani (North Stonington, Conn.), singled to left field.
Another one-out single to shortstop in the seventh by Hancock led the the Warriors' sixth run. While reliever Nicole Parry (Quincy, Mass.) struck out Rentz, Hancock stole second and came home on double by senior first baseman Sam Rosetti (Shelton, Conn.).
Warriors' starting pitcher Erin Miller (Waterford, Conn.) went 5.1 innings and struck out three Seahawks to improve to 6-1 on the season. Reliever Emily Komornik (Shelton, Conn.) added two Ks for her first save.
Hancock led off game two with a double, stole third, and scored on Rossetti's single to right. Salve Regina got the run back in its half of the first when shortstop Nikki Bukovsky (Westport, Conn.) singled through the right side before Melissa Figueiredo (East Bridgewater Mass.) sacrificed the runner to second. Benoit lined a sharp single to center that scored Bukovsky without a throw.
Martin doubled to lead off the Warriors' second inning and scored on a two-out single to short by Hancock.
Bukovsky had her own RBI single in the next frame to knot the score at 2-2, before Benoit delivered a two-out, two-run double down the left field line. Salve Regina had its first lead of the day, 4-2.
Ryan doubled with one out in the third inning, stole third base, and came home on a Taylor Smyth (Meriden, Conn.) sacrifice fly to right.
Parry, who held the Warriors scoreless in the fourth frame, came out to pitch the fifth inning with a 4-3 lead. The junior hurler had been scheduled to pitch final three innings of game one and just first four of game two.
Hancock started this rally once again with a pop up in front of the plate that the Seahawk catcher could not find. She stole second and Rentz again executed a sacrifice. After fouling off a couple of 3-2 pitches, Rossetti walked and then stole second. Parry also went to a full count on Ryan before the DH homered to left field, for a 6-4 ECSU lead.
An error allowed the next Warrior batter to reach and Gina Georgetti (Milford, Conn.) followed with a single through the left side. Martin drilled a 2-2 pitch over the right field fence to up the score to 9-4.
Boarman relieved Parry and pitched spotlessly over 2.2 innings.
Skye Hart (Hope Valley, R.I.) singled in the final Seahawk run with two outs in the final frame. Lexi Soucie (No. Easton, Mass.), who scored on the play, finished with three hits on the day. Francesca Galeazzi (Lynn, Mass.), batting in the ninth position, collected five basehits to raise her batting average from .481 to .517, which is tops in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).
Warriors' starting pitcher Samantha Valentine (Ridge, N.Y.) went the distance to record her sixth victory in eight decisions (6-2).
Salve Regina plays at home against CCC foe Nichols College on Saturday; first pitch for the Bison-Seahawks is at 1 p.m. at Toppa Field. Eastern Connecticut hosts Keene State in a Little East Conference (LEC) twinbill Saturday.