Softball’s season ends in NECC Finals

Softball huddle
Softball huddle

WESTON, Mass. --- The Becker College softball team saw their 2018 season come to an end on Sunday in the Championship Round of the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament, dropping both of their games against third-seeded Bay Path University on the campus of Regis College. Bay Path won the first game, 2-1, before rallying to win game two, 3-2.

The Hawks of Becker conclude their season with a 21-17 record.

First in game one, Bay Path struck first in the bottom of the first when senior shortstop Lauren Vallee (Bristol, Conn. /Bristol Central) scored from third after an errant throw to first with two outs to put the Wildcats up 1-0.

Becker answered in the bottom of the third inning when freshman shortstop Sarah Ellis (Berkley, Mass. / Bristol County Agricultural) came to the plate with two outs and runners at first and second, then launched an RBI single into left-center to allow freshman second baseman Alyssa Columb (Manchester, N.H. / Manchester Central) to score, tying the game for the Hawks at 1-1.

That remained the score going into extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth, the Hawks retired the first two Wildcats to come to the plate, only to watch as Bay Path answered with back-to-back singles from freshman Camielle Keith (Pawtucket, RI/St. Raphael Academy) and sophomore Lilly West (Goshen, Mass. /Hampshire Regional). Becker was one strike away from getting out of it as junior Katrina Peck (Newington, Conn. /Newington) was in a 2-2 hole. But the junior hit a walk-off single down the right field line and Keith came around to scorer the game winning run.

Bay Path sophomore pitcher Felicia Gaillardetz (Londonderry, NH/Londonderry) allowed just one earned run in eight innings for the must-win game. Becker senior Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn. / Woodland) tallied six strikeouts in seven and two-thirds innings.

Game two saw Becker jump out to a 2-0 lead into the top of the first when Lee and junior Samantha Belenchia (Ansonia, Conn. / Ansonia) hit back-to-back RBI singles for the Hawks, scoring Ellis and senior outfielder Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass. / Amherst).

The Wildcats immediately began chipping away at the lead. In the bottom of the first, Peck hit an RBI single to right to bring home Vallee. In the bottom of the third, Vallee's failed attempt to steal second allowed junior Jai Ruiz (Hadley, Mass. /Hopkins Academy) to reach home on the play to tie the game at 2-2. Then in the bottom of the fourth, junior Marissa Sarna-McCarthy (Westhampton, Mass. /Hampshire Regional) dropped an RBI single into left center to bring home Peck as Bay Path took their first lead of the game at 3-2.

In the top of the seventh and down to their final three outs, Becker came to the plate down one and with the top of the lineup coming to the plate. After a single by Columb, Carkhuff fouled out, followed by back to back fly-outs by Ellis and Belenchia to end the game.

Lee struck out five, giving up two earned runs in six innings. Gaillardetz again got the win, allowing two earned runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Ellis, Carkhuff and Lee were each named to the NECC All-Tournament Team.

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