NEWPORT, R.I. - Salve Regina University sophomore Courtney Latta (Lowell, Mass.) pitched six innings and allowed just four hits and two earned runs while striking out four as the Seahawks salvaged a split of their non-league softball doubleheader with the Bears of Bridgewater State University, winning 5-4 in the nightcap after dropping the opener 3-2, at Toppa Field. Both games were originally scheduled to play in Bridgewater, Mass., so the Bears served as the home team and the Seahawks batted first.
Latta also contributed to her offense as she made her first three plate appearances in a Seahawk uniform and collected two hard singles. Her battery mate, senior catcher Holly Kathios (Pelham, N.H.), drove in a pair of first-inning runs with a two-out single to center field.
Kathios had singled in her last at bat of Game One leading off the top of the seventh with the Seahawks trailing by a run, 3-2. Latta pinch ran for her and stole second before advancing to third on a wild pitch with no outs. Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, Mass.) got the next two Seahawks on a foul pop to third and a comebacker that she backhanded and checked Latta back to third before getting the out. A four-pitch walk to Seahawk leadoff batter Lindsey Florent (New Bedford, Mass.) put the potential go-ahead run in scoring position when the senior outfielder promptly stole second, but a groundout to third baseman Courtney Gouveia (Taunton, Mass.) ended the game.
The Bears (3-12) tied the score 2-2 in the bottom of the first of Game Two. Latta walked three of the first four Bridgewater State batters before Jenny Heller (Taunton, Mass.) drove a two-run double to right center.
With the score still tied 2-2 in the top of the fourth, Salve Regina first baseman Lauren Packer (Manchester, Conn.) doubled with one out and came home on a sharp single by second baseman Kendall Duprey (Cranston, R.I.). Top of the fifth, senior shortstop Amanda Riley (Barrington, N.H.), four for six on the day with three runs scored, tripled in Sam Farrell (Melrose, Mass.) for a 4-2 lead before coming home on a safety squeeze bunt by sophomore Jaycee Garrigan (Uxbridge, Mass.). The insurance runs proved necessary as the Bears scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth for the final margin.
Salve Regina (5-8) got a 1-2-3 inning from relief pitcher Andi Nelson (Candia, N.H.) in the bottom of the seventh to secure the pitching victory for Latta (1-2). Nelson (4-2) took the loss in the opener after throwing a complete game with six strikeouts; Sorrenti (3-3) has earned all three victories on the season thus far.
The Seahawks host another non-league pair on Tuesday when UMass Boston comes to Newport; Bridgewater State will host the Beacons on Thursday.