PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sixth-seeded Plymouth State University used a complete game, two-hit shutout by senior pitcher Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) Friday afternoon to defeat fourth-seeded University of Southern Maine, 1-0, and stay alive in the Little East Conference Softball Tournament.
The stay didn’t last long, though, as fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University sent the Panthers home later Friday afternoon with a 3-1 setback, their second loss of the double-elimination tourney. PSU completes its season at 15-18 overall.
Jeffs posted her sixth shutout of the season against USM and the 38th of her career, which is tied for ninth on the all-time NCAA Division III list for shutouts. She allowed just two hits and no walks while striking out 13, including the first seven batters she faced.
PSU got the only run it would need in the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) and freshman Lisa Pelosi (Reading, Mass.) both reached base on walks, and junior Jess Fortin (Chester, N.H.) smacked a single to left field to bring home freshman pinch-runner Shauna Isham (Auburn, N.H.)
USM senior pitcher Melissa Henderson (Newburyport, Mass.) was impressive in a losing effort, allowing only the one hit with 11 strikeouts as her record falls to 17-9.
Plymouth State took a 1-0 lead over Eastern Conn. in the top of the fourth. Senior Michelle Dubois (Auburn, Maine) led off with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice by freshman Devin Caswell (Wilton, N.H.), and scored on a double to left by freshman Kristi Curry (Nottingham, N.H.)
The Warriors came back with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth. Eaton, who pitched shutout ball until departing the game in the sixth with two runners on, gave way to Jeffs. Sophomore Karen Taber (Deep River, Conn.) singled off Jeffs to load the bases. After a strikeout, sophomore Nikki Vachon (East Haddam, Conn.) singled to left, and the ball got by DuBois and three runs scored as the ball rolled to the wall.
That would be all ECSU junior Lindsay Savelle (Cheshire, CT) would need as she went the distance, striking out eight. It was the second win of the day for Savelle, who also shut out Western Connecticut, 3-0, earlier in the day. Plymouth State loaded the bases in the top of the seventh inning, but Savelle got out of the jam with a strikeout.
(Courtesy of RIC Sports Information)
— 30 –-