May 14, 2011



Providence, RI-Rhode Island College came back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Endicott, 4-3, in game nine at the Providence Regional of the 2011 NCAA Div. III Softball Championship played at RIC’s Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex.


The Anchorwomen (35-12) will face the winner of game 10 (Worcester State vs. Coast Guard; noon) at 4 p.m. in an elimination contest. The Gulls (36-8) are eliminated from the tournament and have completed their season.


Senior shortstop Donielle Mattoon (Coventry, RI) went 4-for-4 with two runs scored, two RBI and a triple, while senior Amanda Berard (Swansea, MA) picked up the win (15-6) with four innings of scoreless relief.



 Senior shortstop Donielle Mattoon


Endicott loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with one away on a walk, hit batsman and a fielder’s choice bunt. Freshman first baseman Jennie Lacolla (Stoneham, MA) lined an infield single to shortstop, which Mattoon made a diving stab to keep the ball from going into the outfield, to bring in the game’s first run. RIC junior pitcher Kyla Puccini (North Dighton, MA) was able to get a ground out to third, which junior Cristina Bailey (Londonderry, NH) alertly fired to the plate to cut down the lead runner, and induced a ground out to first to get out of the opening stanza.


Sophomore designated Nicole Devlin (Dudley, MA) led off the second inning for Endicott and was hit by a pitch. She moved over to second on an illegal pitch and came home on an Anchorwomen error on a ball hit by freshman left fielder Alexandra Moise’s (North Reading, MA). Devlin alertly turned on the jets when she got to third and was able to score easily. Moise took second on the throw to the plate and advanced to third on an illegal pitch.


After Puccini got the first out of the frame on a lineout to RIC freshman left fielder Stacy Pokora (Wilton, CT), Gull freshman second baseman Jesse Bilafer (Concord, MA) laid down a bunt that Puccini fielded cleanly, but was unable to cut down Moise at the plate. Bilafer was thrown out attempting to take second on the play, which cost Endicott an additional run when senior right fielder Hayley Hovhanessian (Farmington, CT) doubled to left field in the following at-bat.


Lacolla walked to start the fourth and advanced to second on senior center fielder Ashley Wright’s (Merrimack, NH) sacrifice attempt, on which RIC was unsuccessful in erasing Lacolla. After a strikeout, Devlin singled to right to load the bases for the second time in three innings. Puccini was able to get a flyout to left and a pop out to second to keep it a 3-0 deficit.


RIC mounted its first offensive threat against Endicott senior pitcher Jenna Bortolotti (Milton, MA) in the top of the fourth as seniors Mattoon and first baseman Chelsi Panarelli (Shrewsbury, MA) hit singles down the left and right field lines, respectively, to put runners on first and third with no outs. Bortolotti got a flyout and lineout, but senior pinch hitter Laura DeNoncour (Johnston, RI) lined the first pitch she saw up the middle to bring in Mattoon and make it a 3-1 ballgame.



 Senior pitcher Amanda Berard


Head Coach Maria Morin turned to Berard, RIC’s third pitcher of the morning, to keep the game close in the bottom of the fourth. She kept EC off the board and the Anchorwomen offense finally broke through in the fifth.


Pokora led off with a line shot double off the left field wall. Bortolotti picked up two outs, but Mattoon went the other way with a flare out to right field that bounced away from the sliding Hovhanessian and allowed Pokora to score. Panarelli followed with another shot to left that scored Mattoon all the way from first and tie the game, 3-3.


Mattoon dealt the decisive blow to the Gulls in the top of the seventh. With sophomore second baseman Marisa Jandreau (Plainville, CT) on second and two out, she crushed a triple to the gap in right center to plate what proved to be the game-winning run.


Endicott put the potential tying run on second with two down in the seventh, but Berard got a flyout and strikeout to keep the Anchorwomen’s run in the NCAAs alive.


Panarelli went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double. Hovhanessian went 2-for-3 for the Gulls. Bortolotti took the loss (18-6).