WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior left fielder Erica Thibodeau (Cohoes, N.Y./Shaker HS) drove in three runs to help the Bentley University softball team win game two against Stonehill College, 4-3 to split a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon in the Northeast-10 Conference opener for the Falcons. The Skyhawks won the first game, 5-1.
Freshman pitcher Caitlin Betz (Randolph, N.J./Randolph HS) tossed five-and-a-third innings for her first career win, and junior Carly Taitz (Blue Point, N.Y./Bayport-Blue Point HS) recorded the final five outs to pick up the save.
After Stonehill opened the second game with a run in the first inning, Bentley answered back with two on an RBI single by freshman Alyssa Wagner (Suffield, Conn./Suffield HS), which drove in sophomore Jackie Gauthier (Braintree, Mass./Braintree HS), who led off the inning with a triple, and an RBI ground out by Thibodeau.
The Falcons plated two more runs in the third. Thibodeau doubled to left to drive in junior second baseman Laura McDonough (Braintree, Mass./Braintree HS) and freshman right fielder Shannon Connor (West Haven, Conn./West Haven HS) to make it a 4-1 Bentley lead.
Betz held Stonehill scoreless in the fourth and fifth innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth when the first three batters reached and two runs came across to cut the lead to 4-3. After Betz faced the next two hitters, Taitz came on with one out and two on, but retired second baseman Christina Swider (Hebron, Conn.) and right fielder Angela Moskwa (West Suffield, Conn.) to get out of the jam.
Taitz retired the side in order in the seventh to pick up the save, her first of the season.
In game one, the Falcons were held in check by Stonehill starter Samantha Krantz (Hampton Bays, N.Y.), who gave up one run over six-and-a-third innings, allowing seven hits and striking out six to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Taitz got the start for Bentley and went the distance, and kept Bentley in the game by allowing just two runs over the first six innings as the Falcons trailed 2-0 entering the final frame. But the Skyhawks broke the game open in the seventh on a three-run homer by first baseman Nicole Eisenmann (East Bridgewater, Mass.) to take a 5-0 lead.
An RBI single in the bottom of the seventh by Gauthier got Bentley on the board and chased Krantz in favor of senior Kellie Reardon (Burlington, Mass.) with one out and two on. Krantz got the second out with the first batter she faced, but walked Thibodeau to load the bases. That brought up McDonough, who represented the tying run, but a ground out to second ended the game.
The Falcons finished the day 3-7 overall and 1-1 in the NE-10 with the split, while the second game loss was just the third for Stonehill (4-2 NE-10) in 12 games this season. Bentley is back in action on Sunday when they host Saint Anselm for a doubleheader.