NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - Strong pitching by freshman Angelina Miller (Holbrook, NY) and sophomore Jaclyn Smith (Sandwich, MA) and timely hitting by shortstop Charline Plasczynski (Bristol, CT), who went 4-for-9 and drove in four runs, helped the Western Connecticut State University softball sweep University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 4-3 in 10 innings and 7-3, in the Little East Conference opening weekend for both clubs on Sunday.
Miller went the entire 10 innings for the Colonials in the opener. She allowed three runs, two of them earned on 10 hits. She struck out nine and walked just two.
In the top of the 10th inning, pinch hitter Sofia Palacios drove in Alyssa Barcomb (East Haven, CT), who started the frame at second base as part of the conferences tie-breaker rule, when she reached on a fielder's choice. Natalie Hart, who Palacios batted for, re-entered the ball game and came around to score the game-winning run following Kayla Jessup's (Danbury, CT) single to the right side.
UMass Dartmouth's Maddie O'Gryzek (Norfolk, MA) nscored on Cierra Sheerin's (Bridgewater, MA) infield out to bring the Corsairs to within a runs, 4-3.
Miller was able to get out of a one-out, runners on first and third, jam by enticing B. Polk to fly out to left field and Lexi Pereira (Middleboro, MA) ground out to second base.
Hannah Smith (Attleboro, MA) suffered the hard-luck loss for UMD. She too went the distance and allowed four runs, two of them earned while striking out five and walking one.
In the opener, Plasczynski had run-scoring singles in the fifth and what proved to be the game-tying run in the seventh inning.
In the nightcap, WestConn, now 10-8 overall and 2-0 in the LEC, raced out to a 3-0 lead with a pair of unearned runs in the first inning and another in the second.
Against the Corsairs in the second game, she went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles including a two-run game-winning shot to centerfield that plated runs four and five.
Sofia Palacios belted a two-run home run to close out the scoring in the nightcap.
Jaclyn Smith evened her record at 3-3 after going seven strong innings for the Colonials. She allowed three runs, two of them earned, on six hits and struck out six.
All seven of the runs yielded by three Corsairs pitchers in the second game were unearned as the defense committed six errors. Annika Evensen (Lake Forest, CA) took the loss after allowing two runs, one of them earned, on three hits. She struck out one before turning the ball over to Gabby DeLeon (Hanson, MA) for the second inning. DeLeon allowed another unearned run in the short outing.
Hannah Smith went the final five innings for UMD. She allowed four unearned runs on three hits and walked two.
WestConn plays host to Springfield College this Wednesday, April 5. First pitch against the Pride is slated for 4 pm.