EASTON, Mass. – Senior pitcher Carly Taitz (Blue Point, N.Y./Bayport-Blue Point HS) pitched a two-hitter to give Bentley University a 2-1 game-two victory and a split of its Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball doubleheader with Stonehill College at Father Gartland Field Wednesday afternoon.
The opener was also decided by a single run with Stonehill holding on for a 6-5 win after Bentley left two in scoring position in the seventh.
In the nightcap, Bentley grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second when junior center fielder Jackie Gauthier (Braintree/Braintree HS) cleared the left field fence for her second home run of the season. Stonehill senior catcher Kelsey Wilcox (Canterbury, Conn.) matched it an inning later, and the game remained 1-1 until the fifth.
In that inning, Falcon freshman shortstop Alex Borrelli (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic HS) led off with her third hit of the day. An error and a sacrifice sent her to third base, and she was able to score what proved to be the winning run on a ground ball back to the pitcher by junior first baseman Samantha Tierney (Wappingers Falls, N.Y./Roy C. Ketchum HS).
After Stonehill picked up a base runner in the seventh, Taitz closed out her third win of the season by getting junior Lindsay McKillop (East Meadow, N.Y.) to line into a game-ending double play. Taitz finished with three strikeouts and no walks.
The opener started on a positive note for Bentley, with two runs in the top of the first with both Borelli and senior catcher Erica Thibodeau (Cohoes, N.Y./Shaker HS) scoring on a double to right by junior third baseman Kelly Sanborn (Hopkinton/Hopkinton HS).
A run in the second and three in the third put Stonehill in front, 4-2, but Bentley countered with two in the fifth to make it a 4-4 game. Borrelli had an RBI single and Thibodeau scored the tying run on an error.
It didn't stay knotted at four for long as Stonehill (9-13, 1-1 NE-10 NE) came right back with two in the bottom of the fifth, with RBI singles by both junior right fielder Brianna Gunter (Amherst, N.H.) and freshman Megan Staudle (New Windsor, N.Y.).
An error allowed Bentley to draw within one in the seventh, but winning pitcher Megan Ruonawaara (Rocky Hill, Conn.) got Borrelli to pop out for the final out.
Bentley's nine hits included three by Thibodeau and two from Borrelli. Ruonavaara, a freshman, powered the Stonehill offense with two hits (including a homer), two runs and three RBI.
Bentley is scheduled to host Saint Anselm in doubleheaders Friday and Saturday, field conditios permitting.