CLERMONT, Fla. – Senior catcher Erica Thibodeau (Cohoes, N.Y./Shaker HS) had five hits and three RBI as the Bentley University softball team posted a pair of wins over Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference squads Thursday at the National Training Center.
The Falcons evened their record at 4-4 by defeating the University of Sioux Falls (Iowa), 7-6, and Bemidji State University (Minn.), 7-2.
Bentley ended a string of three straight shutout losses by jumping on Sioux Falls for five runs in the top of the first, taking advantage of a Cougar error, a passed ball and a pair of hit batters. The Falcons' big hit in the inning was a two-run double by junior third baseman Kelly Sanborn (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton HS).
An RBI single by Thibodeau in the third made it a 6-1 lead, but Sioux Falls battled back within one, 6-5, with three in the third and one in the fourth.
Bentley added an unearned run in the fifth to make it a two-run game, 7-5. However, the Cougars got back within one with a run in the seventh and had the potential tying run on third (and the winning run on second) before senior and winning pitcher Carly Taitz (Blue Point, N.Y./Bayport-Blue Point HS) struck out junior Elliott Lenz (Lake Crystal, Minn.) to end the game.
Taitz improved to 2-1 on the season with four innings of relief work in which she yielded five hits and two hits while striking out four.
In the second game of the day, Bentley broke a 1-1 tie with four runs in the fourth inning, with Thibodeau getting things started with a lead-off single to left. Sanborn had an RBI single, junior right fielder Chelsea Tamuk (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Earl L. Vandermeulen HS) drove in two with a double to center, and the final run scored on a fielder's choice.
A two-run single to center by Thibodeau in the sixth provided the Falcons some insurance and helped freshman Halley McDevitt (San Ramon, Calif./San Ramon Valley HS) register her first win as a collegian. She turned in a complete game effort, allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out five.
Bentley had ten hits in each game, including a total of three by freshman shortstop Alex Borrelli (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic HS).
Bentley concludes its week in Florida Friday with games against Minot State University and the University of Bridgeport.