LEICESTER, Mass. -- The Elms College softball team saw its seven-game New England Collegiate Conference winning streak come to an end Sunday as the Blazers dropped an NECC double-header at Becker College on Sunday, falling 11-3 in the first and 7-4 in the second.
The Blazers fall to 10-15 overall and 7-5 in the NECC while Becker improves to 17-11 on the season and 11-3 in NECC play.
GAME 1 – Becker 11, Elms 3 (5 Innings)
The Blazers built an early 3-0 lead after a second inning that saw Elms' junior catcher Tea Sullivan (Dracut, Mass./Greater Lowell Regional) blast a three-run home run to straight-ahead center. That was the score in the bottom of the fourth inning when the Hawks' lineup exploded. Becker hit three straight RBI singles from junior catcher Megan Klemanchuck (Pawtucket, R.I. / William E. Tolman), junior Samantha Belenchia (Ansonia, Conn. / Ansonia) and senior Samantha Lee (Prospect, Conn. / Woodland). Three batters later, Belenchia scored on a fielder's choice as Becker took their first lead of the game.
Sophomore Lauren Niemann (Bay Shore, N.Y. / Bay Shore) drove in two more runs on the next at-bat, and freshman Sarah Ellis (Berkley, Mass. / Bristol County Agricultural) drove in junior Brianna Herforth (Peru, Mass. / Wahconah Regional). On the very next at-bat, senior Rebecca Carkhuff (Amherst, Mass. / Amherst) went yard for her fourth home run of the season, driving in three more runs for a ten-run fourth inning by the Hawks.
In the bottom of the fifth, Lee used a solo shot to put Becker ahead by eight, bringing game one to a close.
Lisa Lusardi (Enfield, Conn. / Enrico Fermi) pitched 3.1 innings and gave up 10 runs, including nine earned while striking out two before Raeanna Tumel (Stafford, Conn. / Stafford) recorded the final two outs and gave up one run on one hit.
GAME 2 – Becker 7, Elms 4
The Blazers built an early lead once again in game two, pulling ahead 2-0 in the first inning when Elizabeth Olszewski (Canterbury, Conn. / Griswold) hit an RBI sacrifice fly and Kayla Doherty (Plaistow, N.H. / Timberlane Regional) scored off an error.
Klemanchuck answered for the Hawks in the bottom of the first with an RBI single, cutting the lead to 2-1. In the bottom of the third, Carkhuff doubled to left to score Ellis, tying the game, and would later score on an error to give the home team the lead.
The bottom of the fourth was again a big inning for Becker, as the Hawks loaded the bases with no outs with the top of their order coming to the plate. Ellis was hit by a pitch to score Niemann. Carkhuff reached on an RBI fielder's choice, bringing home Jennifer Boxell (Marlborough, Mass. / Marlborough), and Klemanchuck doubled home Ellis to put Becker ahead 6-2.
Olszewski closed the gap in the top of the fifth with a two run blast to left, but Becker picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth off a solo shot from Belenchia.
Olszewski went 2-for-2 with three RBIs in the game and Madison Messier (Warren, Mass. / Quaboag Regional) went 2-for-3. Tumel got the start in the pitcher circle for Elms and went 3.1 innings, giving up five earned runs before giving way to Lusardi who allowed just one run on two hits in the final 2.2 innings.
Elms plays their next two games at Anna Maria College on Monday at 3:00 p.m. Becker is back on the field on Tuesday when they play host to Clark University in a non-conference double-header beginning at 3:00 p.m.