PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) tossed a two-hit shutout Wednesday afternoon at D&M Park, leading second-seeded Plymouth State College past seventh-seeded Norwich University, 3-0, in a quarterfinal game of the ECAC Division III New England Softball Tournament.
The victory gives PSC a 26-8 overall record, extending the school record for victories in a season. The Panthers move on to the double-elimination tourney this weekend at top-seeded Springfield College. PSC will take on third-seeded Coast Guard Saturday at 12 p.m. in Game Two, following the opening game of the tournament at 10 a.m.
Jeffs fanned the first 10 Cadets she faced Wednesday before giving up a single to junior Heather LaBranche (Bow, N.H.). Jeffs went on to finish with 12 strikeouts en route to her 12th shutout of the season. She improved her season record to 23-6, and upped her NCAA Division III-leading strikeout total to 322 (in 203.2 innings).
The Panthers scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning. Senior Adriene Harvey (Nantucket, Mass.) led off with a single, and sophomore Annie Metz (North Chelmsford, Mass.) followed with an RBI double. An infield hit by freshman Kim Krause (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) moved Metz to third, and she scored on an infield grounder by senior Steph Marsland (Cumberland, R.I.). Sophomore Michelle Dubois (Auburn, Maine) then brought Krause home with a single to right.
Harvey, Metz and Dubois all had two hits apiece for the Panthers.
Sophomore Julie Sledz (Stratford, Conn.) took the loss (9-5) for Norwich after giving up eight hits and three runs in five innings.
PSC was upset by Fitchburg State in the opening round of the ECAC Tournament last year after making its first post-season appearance in eight years. The Panthers are seeking their second ECAC title, having won the first tournament in 1985.