WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior catcher Jill Raia (Montville, N.J./Morristown-Beard School) and sophomore pitcher Kelsey Smith (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant HS) had back-to-back two-run doubles during a five-run sixth inning and Bentley University held on for a 5-4 win over Assumption College in the second half of a Northeast-10 Conference softball doubleheader Thursday afternoon at Bentley.
In the first half of Bentley's home and conference opener, Assumption broke a scoreless tie with a run in the sixth and went on to a 3-1 victory.
After five scoreless innings in the nightcap, it looked like the Greyhounds (11-8, 3-4 NE-10 Northeast) would jump on top in the top of the sixth after opening the inning with a triple and a walk. However, a pair of nice defensive plays got the Falcons out of trouble. With the first and third situation, junior shortstop Alex Borelli (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic HS) fielded a ground ball and cut down the potential go-ahead run at the plate.
Later in the inning, sophomore third baseman Katelyn Lebreux (Biddeford, Maine/Biddeford HS) made a diving stop and crawled to the base, just beating the runner, for the final out.
In the bottom of the sixth, freshman second baseman Catie Noons (North Dighton/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) got things started with a single to left. Borrelli followed with a walk and freshman Kendal Roy (Grafton), the winner in game one, came in from the bullpen. She walked junior first baseman Morgan Mazone (Selkirk, N.Y./Bethlehem Central HS) to load the bases.
Raia made it a 2-0 game with a two-run double to left center and Smith, who would get the win, went the same direction for two more runs. Following a ground out, a single by sophomore right fielder Chelsea Vena (Matawan, N.J./Saint John Vianney) brought in the Falcons' fifth run.
As it turned out, Bentley (4-7, 1-1 NE-10 Northeast) needed all five as Assumption not only spoiled Smith's shutout bid but scored four runs in the top of the seventh. Senior first baseman Ashley Impagliazzo (Glocester, R.I.) had a two-out two-run single and three batters later, following a pitching change, freshman pinch-hitter Nicole Duplease (Leominster) did the same. A walk re-loaded the bases but sophomore Michelle DeVito (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore HS) got a game-ending called third strike to close out the win and earn the save.
Smith, now 2-0, allowed four hits, six walks and four runs while striking out five in her 6.2 innings of work.
In the opener, Bentley went up 1-0 in the third when Mazone was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The lead held up until the sixth when the Hounds took advantage of a Falcon fielding miscue to tie the game. Sophomore center fielder Ashley Clark (Pawtucket, R.I.) reached when her pop-up fell between the second baseman and right fielder for a lead-off single. Following a sacrifice and a single, classmate Ashley Abad (Bedford, N.H.) brought her in with a single to left.
An inning later, Clark broke the tie with a two-out RBI double to center. On the next pitch, Impagliazzo brought her in with a single up the middle.
Bentley had plenty of chances in the opener but stranded ten runners on base, including the bases full in the third and fifth.
The Falcons' six hits included two apiece by Noons, who finished the twinbill with a .389 average and sophomore center fielder Kelsey Kennedy (Bedford, N.H./Bedford HS).
Bentley will be back on its home field on Friday for a single game against Saint Anselm at 3:30 pm. The two clubs will also play a doubleheader on Saturday, also at home.