WALTHAM, Mass. – For the third time in four days, the Bentley University softball team split a doubleheader. All three followed the same pattern with the Falcons dropping the nightcap after winning the opener.
The latest came on Saturday against American International in the first match-up of the two Northeast-10 programs since 2013. Bentley captured the opener in nine innings, 5-4, but AIC came back to take game two, 5-3.
In the ninth inning of the opener, junior center fielder Juliana Romeo (Greenville, R.I./ Smithfield HS) tripled to left center with one out. Freshman catcher Ella Hillier (Tualitin, Ore./ Tualitin HS) grounded to third and AIC tried to throw out Romeo attempting to score. She got caught in a rundown, but managed to elude the tag while getting back to third.
Junior first baseman Gabby Casalino (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills West HS) hit a foul fly to left, deep enough for Romeo to come home with the winning run.
The eight previous runs in the game were scored in the first three innings. Bentley, down 3-0 in the first, battled back with two runs in the second and two in the third to tie the game. Three of the four Falcon runs were unearned as the home team capitalized on three Yellow Jacket errors.
Sophomore Ashley Keegan (Pittsfield/Taconic HS) earned her sixth win of the season after giving the Falcons four shutout innings of relief. She allowed only two hits and struck out six.
Bentley's seven hits included two apiece from sophomore shortstop Lindsey Allen (Worcester/ Worcester Tech HS) and Hillier.
All five of AIC's runs in the nightcap were scored in the fourth with the inning featuring a grand slam from sophomore designated hitter Brianna Rivera (Lawrence).
Bentley (10-18, 6-7 NE10) outhit the Jackets 9-6, with two apiece from Romeo, junior left fielder Stacey Korotsky (Raynham/Bridgewater-Raynham HS), Allen and junior third baseman Kaileigh Serafini (Schenectady, N.Y./Schenectady HS) all having two.
Korotsky scored on the front end of a double steal in the first, Hillier picked up her team-high 15th RBI on a ground out in the same inning and Serafini had an RBI single in the seventh.
Bentley's next contest is Tuesday, a 4 pm home game against Merrimack.