WALTHAM, Mass. -- Senior Kelsey Griffin (Scarborough, Maine) and freshman Dolores Mattice (Schenectady, N.Y.) each pitched a two-hit shutout with double-figure strikeouts as Southern New Hampshire University swept Bentley University, 4-1 and 5-2, in Northeast-10 Conference softball action at Bentley Tuesday afternoon.
Bentley (7-5, 0-2 NE-10) had a successful Florida trip, winning seven of ten games, but the momentum didn't carry over into the team's northern and conference opening doubleheader. While the Falcons saw their four-game winning streak halted, Southern New Hampshire improved to 4-12 overall after taking their first two conference games of 2011.
In the opener, the Penmen broke open a 1-1 pitchers dual between Griffin and Bentley junior Tara Fogarty (Chester, N.Y./John S. Burke HS) with a three-run sixth inning. After a single and a throwing error on an attempted sacrifice, sophomore left fielder Christy Jenkins (Hudson) slammed a two-run triple to right center. Sophomore second baseman Kelsea Cheney (Abington) followed with a single to right, plating Jenkins with SNHU's fourth run.
Both teams had scored in the first inning. Senior shortstop Melissa Vitagliano (Bedford, N.H.) had a sacrifice fly for Southern New Hampshire, and Bentley answered with an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning. Junior catcher Megan Blier (Wells, Maine/Wells HS) led off with a single, was sacrificed to second and scored on a throwing error.
Griffin struck out 13 Falcons, including eight of the final 12 batters she faced, and walked two.
In game two, Blier accounted for both Bentley runs and gave the Falcons a 2-1 first-inning lead with a blast over the left-center field fence. Junior center fielder Meghan Carter (Hudson/Hudson HS), who had walked, scored on Blier's second round tripper of the season.
The 2-1 lead disappeared in the top of the fourth when Vitagliano homered to left with two runners on base. SNHU picked up an insurance run in the seventh on an RBI single by Jenkins.
Mattice, like Griffin did before her, quieted the Falcon bats as she struck out a dozen. She walked four and didn't give up her second hit of the game until there were two out in the seventh.
Bentley is scheduled to be back at home on Saturday, a noon doubleheader against Franklin Pierce.
GAME 1: SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE 4, BENTLEY 1
Southern NH 010 003 0 -- 4 6 2
Bentley 010 000 0 -- 1 2 1
SNH - Kelsey Griffin and Elena Anderson; B - Tara Fogarty and Megan Blier; W - Griffin (2-3); L - Fogarty (7-3); 3B - SNH, Cristy Jenkins, Anderson; B - Kelly Sanborn.
GAME 2: SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE 5, BENTLEY 2
Southern NH (4-12, 2-0) 100 300 1 -- 5 11 2
Bentley (7-5, 0-2) 200 000 0 -- 2 2 0
SNH - Dolores Mattice and Elena Anderson; B - Tara Fogarty and Megan Blier; W - Mattice (2-2); L - Fogarty (7-4); HR - SNH, Melissa Vitagliano (2); B, Blier (2); 2B - SNH, Kate Stanley, Christy Jenkins, Kelsea Cheney.