CLERMONT, Fla. -- Despite a school record three doubles by freshman second baseman Catie Noons (North Dighton, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth HS), the Bentley University softball team dropped its third straight one-run game, 4-3 to the University of Bridgeport in non-conference action Thursday afternoon at the National Training Center.
Bridgeport, in its season-opener, picked up two runs in the bottom of the seventh to overcome the Falcons, who had held the lead since scoring twice in the third inning.
Noons, whose 3-for-3 day elevated her to number one on the team in both batting average (.348) and slugging (.522), became the third player in program history to have three doubles in a game, the first since Bev Smith 31 years ago.
With the game even at 1-1, Bentley sophomore center fielder Kelsey Kennedy (Bedford, N.H./ Bedford HS) led off the top of the third with a double to center. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, Noons doubled to right, bringing in two runs.
The Purple Knights got one back in the fifth when junior first baseman Katelyn Wall (Madison, Conn.) slammed her second home run of the afternoon, both going to center field.
In the seventh, after a walk and a sacrifice bunt set the table, Bridgeport center fielder Paige Owens (Berlin, Conn.) singled up the middle to drive in the tying run. A walk, a pitching change and a fly ball out brought Bridgeport clean-up hitter Meghan O'Leady (Lafayette, N.J.) to the plate and the freshman delivered. O'Leary singled up the middle, driving in Owens with the winning run.
Bentley stranded a dozen runners in the game, leaving the bases loaded in the first and fifth innings. Earlier in the first, a bases loaded RBI single by junior shortstop Alex Borrelli (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic HS) plated the Falcons' first run.
Bentley was also scheduled to play Northern State Thursday morning, but that one fell victim to the overnight rains.
The Falcons, 1-6, will close out its annual trip to Florida on Friday with games against Bridgeport (9 am, live video at www.bentleyfalcons.com) and Mercy College (11 am).