GORHAM, Maine – Senior Allie Sabith (Meriden, Conn./Maloney) scattered six hits and a walk over seven innings, senior Erin Weber (Rocky Hill, Conn.) drove in three runs on a 2-for-3 effort at the dish, and sophomore Kayla Nowak (Northford, Conn./North Branford) went 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBI as the fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University Colonials defeated third-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies 10-3 in the third game of the 2016 Little East Conference Championship Tournament.
Western Connecticut improves to 20-17 with the win and advances in the winners' bracket of the six-team double-elimination format tournament. Western Connecticut will face the winner of the No. 2 seeded UMass Dartmouth vs. No. 3 seeded UMass Boston game on Friday at 6:00 p.m. Keene State College, the LEC's top seed, will host the Friday and Saturday games. Southern Maine falls to 23-13-1 with the loss and will face the winner of the No. 1 Keene State College vs. No. 6 Eastern Connecticut game on Friday (1:00 p.m.) at Keene State.
The Huskies struck first scoring in their opening at bats. Senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic's) doubled down the left field line to lead off the inning, advanced to third on a walk issued to sophomore Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) and then came around to touch home plate on an RBI ground from sophomore Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.).
WestConn answered back in the top of the second scoring the equalizer on a long ball from Nowak. Nowak's team-leading eighth home run of the season cleared the USM center field fence, making it 1-1. The Colonials tacked on two more runs, both unearned, in the top of the third capitalizing on two hits, a wild pitch and a Huskies' fielding error. Sophomore Jenna Gaudioso (East Haven, Conn.) had an RBI fielder's choice to drive in the Colonials first run of the inning and then came around to score on a wild pitch before the inning ended.
USM looked to have something going in the home half of the third, as Caron and Davis each had singles to set up first and third with two down, but Sabith took control of the situation getting her second strikeout of the inning.
The score remained 3-1 in favor of the Colonials until the top of the sixth when WestConn increased its lead to 4-1 on a laced RBI double to the corner of left field from senior Emily Cintorino (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Central). Sabith continued her strong effort in the circle retiring the Huskies in order in the bottom of the seventh before her team put the game out of reach with a six-run top of the seventh. Weber led the way with a three-run double, while senior Michaela Roche (Bristol, Conn.) and Nowak each had run scoring hits.
Southern Maine got two back from Western in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run single from senior Kat McKay (Mechanic Falls, Maine/St. Dominic's) but it was as close as the Huskies would get for the 10-3 final.
Sabith improve to 8-6 with the win, striking out eight. Southern Maine freshman Sammi Goode (Bucksport, Maine) was tagged with the loss allowing five earned runs on seven hits and four walks. She struck out six.