DUDLEY, Mass. – The Elms College softball team dropped a pair of one-run games at Nichols on Thursday evening, falling 3-2 and 4-3 in non-conference play.
The Blazers will have a quick turnaround before hosting Dean in a New England Collegiate Conference doubleheader on Friday, beginning at 2:00 p.m.
GAME 1 – Nichols 3, Elms 2
The Blazers (8-13) held a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the seventh but couldn't quite hang on as the Bison (9-8-1) engineered two unorthodox runs to steal a 3-2 win.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Taylor Commesso reached first on an error, and the Bison quickly put runners on first and second when Cara Mayhew was hit by a pitch. The game-tying run scored when Jessica Soucie singled to center, leaving runners on the corners. After a fly ball left two outs in the inning, Commesso scored the game-winning run on a dropped third-strike that would otherwise have sent the game into extra innings.
Katelyn Sylvia went 2-for-4 and drove in both Elms runs with a second-inning double to right field. Elizabeth Olszewski went 2-for-3 and Kayla Doherty went 2-for-4 for Elms as the Blazers tallied nine hits in the game.
Lisa Lusardi allowed just one earned run in 6.2 innings pitched, fanning seven Bison batters in the process. Nichols pitcher Alexis Ferris went the distance and tallied nine strikeouts in the win.
GAME 2 – Nichols 4, Elms 3 (5 innings)
Elms suffered a second one-run defeat to Nichols on the second-half of Thursday's double-header. The Blazers had the game-tying run on third base when the game ended in the fifth inning but couldn't get it across the plate before Nichols stole the doubleheader sweep.
Elms jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Olszewski made Nichols pitcher Shannon Morin pay for a two-out walk to Madison Messier with a two-run bomb, her fourth home run of the season.
The Bison, however, erased the Elms lead with a run in the bottom of the first and another in the bottom of the second. The Blazers had an opportunity to re-gain the lead after loading the bases with nobody out in the top of the fourth, but Morin worked her way out of the jam with a lineout, pop up, and strikeout. Nichols then took a 4-2 lead with Colleen Callahan's two-run double to left-center.
Elms pitcher Raeanna Tumel went four innings and allowed four runs, two of them earned. Morin struck out four and walked two while giving up three runs on five hits in the win.