WALTHAM, Mass. – A two-run walk-off single by junior first baseman Samantha Tierney (Wappingers Falls, N.Y./Roy C. Ketchum HS) gave Bentley University a 4-3 eight-inning victory and a split of its doubleheader with Southern New Hampshire University at the Bentley Softball Field Monday afternoon.
Bentley's win came in the non-conference half of the twinbill with Southern New Hampshire taking the one that counted in the Northeast-10 Northeast Division standings, 7-2.
With Bentley down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth after SNHU broke a tie in the top half of the inning, senior second baseman Laura McDonough (Braintree/Braintree HS) led off with a single to left center. Following a sacrifice, an infield single by junior center fielder Jackie Gauthier (Braintree/Braintree HS) put runners on the corners and Gauthier stole second to move into scoring position.
After a grounder to third produced the second out, Tierney lined a two-strike pitch to left center, easily bringing home McDonough with the tying run and Gauthier with the game-winner.
Bentley jumped on top early with two runs in the first inning. After a double by sophomore left fielder Shannon Connor (West Haven, Conn./West Haven HS) and a single by junior right fielder Chelsea Tamuk (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Earl L. Vandermeulen HS) set the table, McDonough picked up an RBI on a grounder to short, and Gauthier singled to right to score Tamuk from third.
Southern New Hampshire drew even with two runs in the sixth, both scoring on a single to center by senior catcher Jessica Douillette (Concord, N.H.). Those runs ended a scoreless streak of 21-and-a-third innings for Bentley sophomore Caitlin Betz (Randolph, N.J./Randolph HS), the Northeast-10 Pitcher of the Week.
The Penmen grabbed the lead in the top of the eighth. Senior shortstop Kate Stanley (Kingston) led off with a double to center, was sacrificed to third and scored on a one-out blooper to right by freshman third baseman Katie Caruso (Newton).
Betz, who came within two outs of a perfect game against SNHU on Sunday, allowed eight hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out four. She also pitched two scoreless innings in the opener.
McDonough, Gauthier and Tierney each had two hits for Bentley, and both Douillette and Caruso had a pair for SNHU.
In the opener, after falling behind 2-1, the Penmen (24-12, 12-3 NE-10 Northeast) took advantage of Bentley sloppiness (five errors, one passed ball) to score two in the third and one in the fourth. An inning later, senior left fielder Christy Jenkins (Hudson) broke the game open with a three-run homer that hit the top of the left field fence and bounced over.
Sophomore Ali Maloof (Norwood) went the distance for SNHU to record her 13th win of 2013, striking out nine while allowing only four hits.
Bentley, 5-3 in its last eight games, finished the day at 13-24 overall and 4-11 NE-10 Northeast. The Falcons will continue a seven-game homestand with a Wednesday doubleheader against UMass-Lowell, with a 3 pm first pitch.