May 4, 2012



Mansfield, Conn.-Sophomore center fielder Stacy Pokora (Wilton, CT) hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning, but top-seeded Eastern Connecticut defeated the third-seeded Rhode Island College, 13-2 (6 innings), in game five of the 2012 Little East Conference Softball Tournament played at Eastern Softball Stadium on Friday morning.


RIC (19-18) sees its season come to an end in the loss. The Anchorwomen also see an impressive streak of 13 consecutive seasons with 20 or more victories also end. Eastern (38-1) advances to face the winner of fourth-seeded Plymouth State and second-seeded Keene State (noon) today at 4 p.m.



 Sophomore center fielder Stacy Pokora


The Warriors threatened right off the bat in the top of the first. RIC junior pitcher Emily Johnson (West Kingston, RI) got two quick outs, but junior third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic, CT) singled through the left side and sophomore shortstop Megan Godwin (Manchester, CT) singled up the middle. Sophomore center fielder Mattie Brett (Waterford, CT) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Johnson induced a ground out to get out of the jam.


The Anchorwomen used the momentum to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame, courtesy of Pokora’s blast (8). It was Pokora’s second homer in as many games at the tourney.


Eastern tied the game up and then took the lead in the fourth as freshman left fielder Samantha Martin (Wethersfield, CT) led off with a single through the left side and was lifted for junior pinch runner Courtney Weber (Groton, CT). Weber promptly moved up to second on a wild pitch and junior designated hitter Kassondra Silva (Hamden, CT) delivered a game-tying single up the middle.


With two out and the bases full, Cooper singled to second base, bringing in junior first baseman Rachel Paterson (Southington, CT) and senior pinch runner Christine Yeomans (Durham, CT). Godwin then singled in Rathbun and Brett delivered a lethal blow with a three-run homer (2) to left field, making it a 7-1 advantage for the top seed.



 Junior right fielder Kristina Gingell


RIC loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning as Johnson doubled, junior right fielder Kristina Gingell (Pascoag, RI) singled and freshman first baseman Justin Thoma (Canterbury, CT) picked up a base knock. Freshman third baseman Monica Koehler (Barrington, RI) plated Gingell with a one-out walk, but Rathbun recovered to strike out the next two hitters she faced to end the comeback bid.


Rathbun drew a one-out walk in the fifth and Cooper smacked a two-run homer (9) to center field to increase the visitor’s lead to seven runs, 9-2.


In the sixth, junior relief pitcher Christine Acker (Milford, CT) and sophomore pinch hitter Stephanie Johnson (Plantsville, CT) each singled, with Acker moving up to third on an Anchorwoman error. With one down, senior right fielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford, CT) walked to load the bases. Rathbun helped her own cause with grand slam (4) to center field to make it a 13-2 ballgame.


Rathbun pitched another strong game to get the win (27-1), allowing just two runs on five hits to go along with six strikeouts in four innings of work. Acker allowed just one hit in two innings of relief.


Johnson took the loss (8-10), allowing eight runs on nine hits, to go along with seven walks and two strikeouts.


Cooper went 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, four RBI  and a home run. Rathbun went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, four RBI and a homer. Godwin was the only other Warrior with multiple hits, posting a 2-for-3 effort to go along with a run scored, two RBI and two walks.


Gingell went 2-for-2 with a walk and run scored. Pokora was 1-for-3 with a run scored, an RBI and a home run.