Rathbun Leads Warriors Over Southern Maine 9-0 (5) and 9-0
With the pair of wins, Eastern Connecticut kept its stranglehold on the Little East Conference with a perfect 14-0 mark and improved its overall record to 36-1. The two wins also signified the Warriors 35-game winning streak. The Huskies fall to 4-34 and 2-10 in the LEC.
Rathbun's heroics weren't the only highlight of the day for the Warriors. Senior Priscilla Alicea (Stratford, Conn./Trumbull) snapped the 20-year-old career record for hits, collecting a double to center field in her first at-bat of the twin bill as part of a 3-for-3 effort at the plate in the opener with two RBI and a run scored. Alicea finished the doubleheader 4-for-7 with two RBI and three runs scored. She now has 196 career hits surpassing the previous mark of 192 help by Leanne Shoop.
With Rathbun overpowering the Husky hitters for 13 strikeouts in the opener the Warriors made quick work of the opener scoring two runs in the first and five runs in the second for a 7-0 lead. Rathbun and freshman Sam Rosetti (Shelton, Conn.) each had RBI hits in the first. In the second, Alicea's second double of the game plated the final two runs of a five-run inning for the Warriors.
The Warriors sealed the five-inning win in the top of the fourth as junior Arielle Cooper (Mystic, Conn./Fitch Sr.) drilled a solo shot over the center field fence for her team-leading eighth home run of the season. Eastern Connecticut added a run in the top of the fifth for the 9-0 final on a RBI single from Christine Yeomans (Durham, Conn./Coginchaug Regional).
USM junior Katie Davis (Woburn, Mass.) collected two of the Huskies' three hits. Davis finished the game 2-for-2 from the plate. Senior Caitlin LeBorgne (Scarborough, Maine) was 1-for-2 at the plate with a double. LeBorgne took the loss for the Huskies. She allowed nine earned runs on 12 hits on a walk. She had one strike out.
Locked in a scoreless draw in the bottom of the fourth inning, Southern Maine threatened to score the first run of the game with runners on first and third. Davis led off the inning collecting a single through the left side off of Eastern Connecticut starter junior Christine Akcer (Milford, Conn./Jonathan Law) and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a Warrior fielding error.
Faced with a runner in scoring position and one out, Akcer was lifted in favor of Rathbun. Rathbun quickly alleviated the situation for the Warriors collecting a pair of strikeouts to end the inning.
The score remained 0-0 through five innings as USM junior Stefanie Stockwell (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) held the Warrior bats at bay. Stockwell held the Warriors to two hits and no runs through the first five innings with a pair of strikeouts.
However, the Warriors got the runs they needed in the top of the sixth plating three runs on three hits. Freshman Jacqui Alvarado (Bay Shore, N.Y./Islip) had an RBI fielder's choice to drive in the first run, while freshman Shannon Martin (Wethersfield, Conn./South Windsor) had an RBI single through the right side.
Eastern Connecticut tagged on six more runs with a big seventh inning to seal the victory. The Warriors belted out three doubles in the inning, including two-run double off of the center field fence from sophomore Megan Bondy (Mystic, Conn.).
Rathbun picked up her 25th win and improve to 25-1 on the season. She allowed one hit in 2.2 innings and had six strikeouts. Stockwell took the loss allowing six earned runs on 11 hits. She had one walk and two strikeouts.
Davis and senior Kaylie DeMillo (Jay, Maine) each had two hits to lead the Huskies. Davis was 2-for-3 with a double, while DeMillo had a pair of singles on a 2-for-3 effort at the plate.
Southern Maine travels to Western Connecticut State on Sunday (12:00 p.m.) for a Little East Conference doubleheader. Eastern Connecticut is off until the Little East Conference tournament. The Warriors are the top seed in the championship tournament and will host the sixth seed (to be determined) on Thursday (12:00 p.m.).