NORFOLK, VA - The Western Connecticut State University softball team heads back to Connecticut with a 2-2 record after splitting its two games on Saturday at the Beach Blast in Norfolk, VA, defeating Rochester Institute of Technology, 6-5, before falling to Rowan, 18-4 in five innings.
In the early morning game against Rochester Institute of the Technology, the Colonials game back from a first-inning 4-0 deficit to capture a 6-5 victory over the Tigers.
Charline Plasczynski (Bristol, CT) pushed Erica Bower (Hillsborough, NJ) across with a triple to cut WestConn's deficit to 4-1. An unearned run in the frame, when Plasczynski game around to score on an outfield error, made the score, 4-2.
Kayla Nowak (North Branford, CT) had a two-RBI double in the bottom half of the fourth inning to knot the game at 4-4.
An inning later, the Colonials tacked on what proved to be the game-winning runs. Bower doubled home Jenna Gaudioso (East Haven, CT). Bower came around to score when Plascynski reached on another fielding error by RIT's outfield.
The Tigers scored a run in the top of the seventh inning, but Kaley Langlois (Watertown, CT) held on to earn the victory. She is now 1-0 on the young season after allowing seven hits while striking out four and walking four.
At noon, WestConn scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning, but it was not enough to avoid the eight-run mercy rule as Rowan University pounded out 14 hits and scored eight runs over its four innings.
With one swing of the bat, junior Kayla Nowak (North Branford, CT) produced all of the Colonials runs as she belted a pinch-hit grand-slam home run in the fifth frame.
The Profs scored nine runs, only two of them earned, in a nine-run third inning. On the day, the winners took advantage of four WestConn errors, scoring 10 unearned runs.
Damariz Mercado (Bloomfield, NJ) led Rowan, going 2-for-3 with a triple and three runs batted in.
Jaclyn Smith (Sandwich, MA) suffered the loss after allowing 14 runs, only four of them earned, on 13 hits over two and two-third innings. She struck out three and walked two.
Lauren Shannon (Sewell, NJ) earned the victory as she did not allow a hit and struck out five in three and a third innings. Rachel Gagliardo (Cranbury, NJ) mopped up the final inning and a third, allowing four runs on three hits, striking out one and walking five.
"I saw some encouraging things today, but was disappointed after today's loss," said head coach Heather Stone. "It was important to get outside and play before we head to Florida. This weekend's trip provided us with growth, but there are a lot of things we need to work on."
The Colonials, now 2-2, head to Clermont, FL for 10 games beginning next weekend.