May 12, 2006


RIC Comeback Downs Western New England, 5-4, In NCAA Regional Tournament

Anchorwomen Come From Three Runs Down To Advance;  RIC Will
Play Top-Seeded Williams Tomorrow at 10 a.m.


BABSON PARK, Mass. – Rhode Island College rallied with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and one more in the eighth to claim a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Western New England College in game seven of the 2006 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament New England Regional at Babson on Friday afternoon. With the win, RIC (35-8-1) will play Williams College in the winners’ bracket final on Saturday at 10 a.m., while WNEC (37-10) will play in game 10 on Saturday at noon.


WNEC used the long ball to build a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, as the Golden Bears connected for three home runs off RIC junior Nicole Riley (North Providence, R.I.). Sophomore Jackie Card (Greenfield, Mass.) drilled a two-run shot down the left field line in the fourth, senior Kristy Kehoss (Cheshire, Conn.) added a solo shot to left in the sixth, and senior Erin Whitcomb (North Walpole, N.H.) hit a solo homer to center in the seventh.


RIC began its comeback in the bottom of the seventh, as two singles and an error loaded the bases with nobody out. WNEC then committed its second miscue of the inning on a groundball by Riley, allowing senior Andree Sitnik (Lincoln, R.I.) to score from third to cut the Anchorwomen’s lead to 4-2. RIC then tied the game on a wild play, as senior Casey Lyons (Hudson, Mass.) launched a double into right-center field, scoring first-year Justine Burgess (Uxbridge, Mass.) and senior Megan Ponte (Wakefield, R.I.) from third and second, respectively. However, WNEC recorded two huge outs on the play, as the Golden Bears used a perfect relay to cut down a runner at the plate and sophomore catcher Allison Glassick (Guilford, Conn.) threw out Lyons trying to take third.


After Riley pitched around an error in the top of the eighth, RIC loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning. Burgess then ripped a fly ball over the head of the drawn-in rightfielder, scoring sophomore Christie Lotti (Waterford, Conn.) from third with the game-winning run.


Ponte finished 3-for-3 to lead RIC, while Riley and sophomore Krystal Bilek (Fitchburg, Mass.) each added two hits apiece. Riley (26-2) was also solid on the mound for the Anchorwomen, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out four. Card was the only player with multiple hits for WNEC, going 2-for-4 with a homer, one run scored and two RBIs. Sophomore Alex Paterson (Deep River, Conn.) took the loss (11-5) in relief of first-year starter Laura Bower (Hudson, Mass.), who game up three earned runs on eight hits in seven innings.