MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sophomore right-hander Halley McDevitt (San Ramon, Calif./San Ramon Valley HS) pitched a three-hitter and had the Falcons' only hit and RBI as Bentley University edged Southern New Hampshire University, 3-1, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball Friday afternoon at Penmen Field.
The Falcons earned the win despite an outstanding pitching performance by Penmen junior Ali Maloof (Norwood, Mass.). In addition to taking a no-hitter into the seventh, she struck out 18 batters, including the side in order in the first, third and fifth innings.
The victory, the team's sixth in the last eight games, lifted Bentley to 15-13 overall and 7-5 in the division, a game back of third-place SNHU. The Penmen, who were sixth in this week's NCAA Division II East Region rankings, dropped to 20-11 overall.
SNHU broke a scoreless deadlock with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman catcher Eric Morrissey (Commack, N.Y.) drew a one-out walk and after a ground out, Maloof tripled to right center, scoring pinch-runner Davan Rabidou (Ashland, Mass.).
Bentley turned the one-run deficit into a one-run lead in the next half-inning. Senior third baseman Kelly Sanborn (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton HS) was hit by a pitch and freshman designated player Kelsey Kennedy (Bedford, N.H./Bedford HS) reached on an error. Second baseman and grad student Laura McDonough (Braintree, Mass./Braintree HS) flied to right for what should have been the third out. However, the ball was dropped and both Kennedy and pinch-runner Katelyn Lebreux (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford HS) scored.
The Falcons picked up an insurance run in the seventh. Junior left fielder Shannon Connor (West Haven, Conn./West Haven HS) walked, was sacrificed to second and scored on McDevitt's two-out single up the middle.
McDevitt, who retired the final seven batters she faced, walked two and struck out two while notching her fourth win in seven decisions. Over her last three starts, she's allowed only nine hits and two runs with a 0.78 ERA. In addition, she has four hits and three RBI in her last 11 at bats.
The two teams will continue their three-game series Saturday at SNHU, with the first pitch scheduled for noon.