BOSTON, Mass. – Plymouth State College clinched home-field advantage in the first round of the Little East Conference Softball Tournament Monday by sweeping a doubleheader in the regular season finale at the University of Massachusetts Boston, 6-2 and 3-1.
With the sweep, PSC finishes in a tie for third with Southern Maine in the LEC with a 9-5 conference mark, 23-6 overall. UMB, 1-12-1 in conference play and 8-18-1 overall, is the seventh seed and will travel to Providence Tuesday to face second-seeded Rhode Island College..
Plymouth State is the #3 seed in the LEC Tournament, which begins Tuesday. The Panthers will host sixth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University in a single game at 4:00 p.m. at D&M Park. The first-round winners advance to the LEC double-elimination tournament this weekend at top-seeded Western Connecticut, beginning Friday at 12 noon.
The Panthers took a 3-0 lead in the third inning of the opener, with the big hit being a two-run home run by senior Adriene Harvey (Nantucket, Mass.). It was Harvey’s record-tying seventh of the season, and it extended her PSC career home run record to 19. PSC added an unearned run in the fourth inning, and made it a 6-0 game with two more runs in the fifth.
Sophomore Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) pitched the first five innings to record the win, allowing only one hit and striking out 11. Freshman Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) came on to work the final two innings.
PSC managed only three hits in the nightcap, but took advantage of three Beacon errors and a couple of wild pitches to score three runs. Sophomore Annie Metz (North Chelmsford, Mass.) ignited a two-run rally in the second inning with a lead-off double.
Jeffs went the distance in second game, giving up a run on two hits while fanning 11. She has reached double figures in strikeouts in 18 of her 26 appearances, and she leads the NCAA Division III with 266 strikeouts.
The LEC Tournament game Tuesday between PSC and Eastern Connecticut is the third meeting this season between the two schools. The Warriors swept the Panthers in a doubleheader on Apr. 13 in Willimantic, Conn., 2-1 in 10 innings and 6-1.