WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior All-Conference left fielder Kelsey Kennedy (Bedford, N.H./Bedford HS) broke a 4-4 tie with an RBI double in the fifth and freshman Kayleigh Fitzpatrick (East Hampstead, N.H./Timberlane Reg. HS) pitched five shutout innings of relief as Bentley University salvaged the finale of a four-game series with Saint Anselm, 5-4, in college softball action Sunday afternoon.
Saint Anselm prevailed in the opener, a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division game, by the score of 6-4 after sweeping the Falcons on Saturday.
Freshman shortstop Julie Slavin (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) led off the bottom of the fifth with an infield single and was sacrificed to second. Kennedy followed with a double to the left field corner, pinch-runner Sami Palazzolo (East Williston, N.Y./The Wheatley School) scoring what proved to be the game-winner.
After trailing early, Bentley erupted for four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Senior right fielder Chelsea Vena (Matawan, N.J./Saint John Vianney HS), who had reached on an error to open the frame, scored the Falcons' first run on a bases-loaded fielder's choice off the bat of freshman catcher Jillian Parinello (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial HS).
Two batters later, junior third baseman Stephanie McQuaid (Windham, N.H./Austin Prep) hit a three-run double to deep right, evening the score at 4-4.
Fitzpatrick, who entered the game to start the top of the third, retired 15 of the 16 batters she faced, including the last 12 after giving up a lead-off single in the fourth.
McQuaid and Kennedy each had two hits for Bentley, which outhit the visitors 7-3.
In the opener, it was Saint Anselm (13-14, 10-4 NE10 Northeast) that received the quality relief pitching. Senior Sam Hennequin (Auburn, N.H. ) entered the game in the second and gave the Hawks 5.2 innings of work in which she struck out seven and allowed five hits and one run.
Down 3-1, Saint Anselm turned the game around by scoring three times in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Junior catcher Megan Murrell (Scarborough, Maine) drove in a run in each inning with a single to left in the fifth and a double to center in the sixth.
Bentley (9-21, 2-12 NE10 Northeast) totaled 11 hits, one less than the Hawks, with Vena, Parinello, freshman center fielder Juliana Romeo (Greenville, R.I./Smithfield HS) and junior designated player Jordan Ballantyne (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./Arlington HS) each having two. Vena also scored a pair of runs.
Bentley will be back in action Tuesday for a 5:00 home game against Stonehill.