May 1, 2011


RIC Sees Opportunity To Host Slip Away in Two Losses

Danbury, Conn.-Rhode Island College saw its chance to host the upcoming 2011 Little East Conference Softball Tournament slip away in two losses played at Western Connecticut's WestSide Field on Sunday afternoon in the regular season finale for the Anchorwomen.


RIC (30-9, 9-5 LEC) entered today's action needing to win just one game in a doubleheader with the Colonials to host the LEC tourney for the fifth time in seven years. The Colonials (24-9, 9-5 LEC) needed a sweep to host the tournament. Top-seeded Eastern Connecticut claimed the conference's regular season title yesterday, but cannot host.


The Anchorwomen dropped game one, 2-1, and the Colonials used the momentum from that victory to shut out RIC, 9-0 (six innings) for only the second time this season in the nightcap. By taking the two contests, RIC, Keene State and WestConn all finished second in the league with identical 9-5 records. However, the Colonials were the only team of the three to win a game against the vaunted Warriors, who posted a 13-1 LEC record. 


Rhode Island College dropped all the way to the fourth seed in the upcoming tournament and will face third-seeded Keene State in opening round action played at Western Connecticut on Thursday, May 5. The Colonials will be the second seed.



Sophomore outfielder Kristina Gingell


Senior Amanda Berard (Swansea, MA) was the hard-luck loser (11-4) in the first game, holding WestConn to just two runs on seven hits in a five-strikeout performance. Junior Kyle Puccini (North Dighton, MA) suffered the setback (10-3) in game two, allowing five runs on six hits in 2.1 innings before giving way to sophomore Emily Johnson (West Kingston, RI) for the remainder of the afternoon.


Sophomore outfielder Kristina Gingell (Pascoag, RI) went 3-for-5 in the twinbill, while senior first baseman Chelsi Panarelli's (Shrewsbury, MA) solo homer in game one accounted for the lone run on the day for the visitors. Panarelli went 2-for-6 in the two games.



Senior first baseman Chelsi Panarelli


 Junior Magen Dargon (Trumbull, CT) pitched back to back complete games for the hosts.


Game one began quietly with both teams failing to mount a threat in the first inning. In the top of the second, Dargon made quick work of the first two batters, before Panarelli hit a home run over the fence in left-center, giving the Anchorwomen their only lead of the day.


WestConn answered with a run in the bottom of the second when Berard walked one and hit three batters to tie the score at 1-1 after two innings. Senior Amy Hartman (Ellington, CT) led off the bottom of the third with a double over the third base bag and later scored on a bunt single by senior Meg Mammone (Stamford, CT).


Dargon put the side down in order in the top of the fourth, and then closed out the fifth and sixth innings with Rhode Island College runners in scoring position.  In the seventh, two RIC singles could have sparked a rally for the visitors, but Gingell was thrown out trying to advance from first to third base on a single through the right side, for the gameís final out.


Dargon was again sharp to start game two, facing only six batters in the first two innings, thanks in part to a double play turned by the WestConn infield. For the Colonials in the first, junior Danielle Basciano (Holmes, NY) led off with a double to center field, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior Jackie Zilnicki (Riverhead, NY) and scored on Hartmanís third hit of the day, a triple to center that just missed clearing the fence. Mammoneís RBI single gave WestConn a 2-0 lead after one inning.


In the top of the third inning, singles by Gingell and senior catcher Kayla Jandreau (Plainville, CT) gave Rhode Island College their best game-two scoring opportunity, but the Anchorwomen stranded a runner at third to end the threat.


WestConn broke the game open in the bottom of the third with four runs on five hits, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly.


While the Rhode Island batters continued to struggle with Dargonís pitching in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the WestConn bats also turned silent with the Colonials going down in order in both the fourth and fifth innings.


 With a six run lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning, senior Anna Levesque (Waterford, CT) led off with a solid single up the middle. After sophomore Alison Russo (Danbury, CT) singled with two outs to drive in Levesque, Basciano ended the game with a shot over the fence in left center, giving WestConn a 9-0 victory and a sweep on the afternoon.