PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Charline Plasczynski (Bethel, Conn.) connected on a pair of doubles and drove in two runs to lead the fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University Colonials to a 4-2win over third-seeded University of Southern Maine Huskies in the first round of the Little East Conference Softball Championship hosted by top-seeded Plymouth State University at Panther Field afternoon.
Competing in the six-team, double-elimination tournament, Southern Maine returns to action on Friday (10:00 a.m.) and will face sixth-seed UMass Boston. UMB defeated Plymouth State in an 1-0 upset in the first game of the day. The Huskies, now 21-19, will need a win against the Beacons to stay alive in the tourney. UMB was the first of three lower seeded teams to earn an upset win, as UMass Dartmouth defeated Eastern Connecticut 1-0 in eight innings.
Trailing the Colonials 3-0 after the top of the fourth inning, Southern Maine rallied to make it a one-run game, 3-2, in the bottom of the inning. Junior Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Senior Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) followed up Cross' double with one of her own to the left field gap to drive in Cross. Lux moved to third on a sacrifice bunt, and then perfectly executed a double-steal with classmate Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) to steal home and score the Huskies' second run of the game.
The score remained unchanged until the top of the fifth when Plasczynski cranked a double to center field to drive in senior Kayla Nowak (Northford, Conn.) who led off the inning with a double to make it 4-2. Faced with their final six outs, Southern Maine was unable to get a runner into scoring position as WestConn sophomore Angelina Miller (Glen Cove, N.Y.) limited the Huskies to just six hits.
USM sophomore Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) was saddled with the loss. She gave up four runs on six hits through five innings. Cross, senior Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.) and junior Brittany Plowman (Scarborough, Maine) each had two hits for the Huskies.
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