CLERMONT, FL - The Western Connecticut softball team opened up its Florida trip with a pair of wins on Saturday. In Game One, rookie hurler Sara Tenke (Glen Cove, NY) earned the victory for the Colonials en route to a 4-2 edging of the University of New England. In Game Two, classmate Angelina Miller (Holbrook, NY) pitched WestConn to a 7-3 win over Rutgers-Newark, while Tenke picked up a save in relief. With the pair of victories, the Colonials improved to 4-2 overall.
Rookie shortstop Charline Plasczynski (Bristol, CT) paced the Colonials going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI's in the opener.
Trailing 1-0, WestConn knotted the count at 1-1 in the top of the third when junior Tori Dugan (Norwalk, CT) stole third, then scored on an error by the third baseman. New England regained the lead in the next frame before the Colonials captured a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Junior designated hitter Sophia Palacios (San Fernando, CA) knocked a sacrifice fly to right, scoring freshman Brittany Stancavage (Bristol, CT). Moments later, Plasczynski drew a bases load walk to give WestConn its first lead.
WestConn tacked on an insurance run in the seventh when Plasczynski drilled a double to send junior right fielder Jenna Gaudioso (East Haven, CT) across the plate to round the score out at 4-2.
Sophomore third baseman Hannah Dunlap (Batavia, NY) and Palacios each went 3-for-3 from the plate to lead the Colonials over Rutgers-Newark. Dugan also chipped in with a pair of hits and an RBI for WestConn.
The Colonials pierced the scoring column in the bottom of the second, seizing a 3-0 lead on RBI singles from Dugan, Dunlap and rookie Kam Geysen (Easthampton, CT). Rutgers countered with a run in the top of the fourth before Gaudioso smacked a two-run single up the middle, extending the WestConn advantage to 5-1.
The Colonials added to the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Palacios notched an RBI single up the middle shortly before Dunlap did the same, this time thru the left side of the infield, putting WestConn up 7-1. Rutgers-Newark scored a pair of runs in the sixth, setting the final score at 7-3.
Miller tossed six strong innings, allowing just two earned runs and five hits while striking out a pair for the Colonials. "Our pitching staff did very well today as all four pitchers continue to work hard. We improved as the day went on and our bats came alive," said head coach Heather Stone following the wins.
WestConn returns to action Sunday at 1 p.m. against Saint Benedict before squaring up against St. Mary's (IN) at 6 p.m. as the Florida trip continues.