PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University senior Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) became the third pitcher in NCAA Division III softball history to strike out 1,000 batters in a career Saturday, throwing a no-hitter in the process, but the Panthers were swept by Eastern Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader at D&M Park, 1-0 and 4-2.
The first game featured no-hitters by both pitchers. ECSU junior Lindsay Savelle (Cheshire, Conn.) allowed only two walks while striking out five to complete her no-no, evening her record at 5-5. Jeffs struck out 16 Warriors and allowed no hits and no walks, but suffered the loss on an unearned run following two Panther errors in the Eastern sixth inning.
Jeffs fanned freshman Krystle Denny (West Haven, Conn.) to start the seventh inning for career strikeout No. 1,000, joining Kelly Schade of Simpson College (Cal.) (1,121 from 1996-99) and Laurie Machuga of Allegheny College (Pa.) (1,025 from 1993-96) and the only Division III pitchers in history to fan 1,000.
(Jeffs is pictured at right throwing strike three for her 1,000th career strikeout.)
PSU took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning of the nightcap when sophomore Colleen Courtney (Norwood, Mass.) and junior Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) both walked to lead off the inning. One out later, freshman Kristi Curry (Nottingham, N.H.) brought both runners home with a double over the center fielder’s head.
The Warriors finally got to Jeffs in the sixth inning of the nightcap. After freshman Allison Kane (Waterford, Conn.) walked and Denny singled, both came around to score on triple by sophomore Samantha Morrow (Tolland, Conn.). Freshman Courtney Watson (Bristol, Conn.) followed with an RBI single to put the Warriors ahead 3-2. Eastern added an insurance run in the seventh when sophomore Kristen Finazzo (New Milford, Conn.) was hit by a pitch, and sophomore Karen Taber (Deep River, Conn.), Kane, and sophomore Nikki Vachon (East Haddam, Conn.) followed with consecutive singles.
Savelle earned the win for Eastern, working three-and-two-thirds innings of perfect relief to improve to 6-5. Jeffs took the loss for PSU.
PSU, 4-10 overall and 0-2 in conference play, visits UMass Dartmouth Sunday for an LEC make-up doubleheader (1:00 p.m.) Eastern returns to action Tuesday with a non-conference twinbill at Wheaton College (3:30 p.m.)
The Plymouth Softball Team congratulates senior Kim Jeffs (holding the ball) for her 1,000th career strikeout.
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