Marquist Parker Sports Editor
An infield ground ball drove in the winning run with one out in the bottom of the tenth inning to lift the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team to a 5-4 win over Wesleyan University and an eventual sweep of a non-conference doubleheader at the Eastern Softball Stadium. In the second half, sophomore Haleigh Cardello (Litchfield, NH) spun a five-hitter without allowing an earned run for her first career complete game and win. Meanwhile, sophomore Sara Pisaneilli (Wallingford) and freshman Kamdynn Moroney (Sandy Hook) each drove in two runs in a 6-1 victory. In the nightcap, Eastern (6-11) capitalized on three infield errors in the first two innings to score six runs (two of them earned). Moroney lashed a two-run single with two out in the first inning and Pisanelli plated two with a double in the second inning.
Making her third career start, Cardello (1-2) took a three-hit shutout into the sixth before Wesleyan (7-10) used a leadoff single by cleanup hitter Rielly Wieners (West Springfield, MA), outfield error and infield ground ball to spoil the shutout bid.
In the first game, both teams scored two runs in the sixth and one run in the eighth and ninth before Eastern ended the game in the bottom of the tenth when the runner starting the inning on second base moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Jackie Lewis (Mystic) and scored on sophomore Sabrina LeMere’s (North Branford) infield ground ball.
Freshman Morgan Bolduk (Vernon) went the distance for Eastern on the mound in the first-game win. With a runner placed on second to start the top of the tenth inning, Bolduk (3-4) got a line drive to Pisanelli at short for the first out, a swinging strikeout and an inning-ending ground ball to third. Bolduk (3-4) gave up nine hits, fanning five and walking two. Wesleyan senior Julie McDonald (Commack, NY) went the distance without allowing an earned run. She fanned eight and walked two.
In the doubleheader, Pisanelli reached five times with four hits (two doubles) and a walk and scored three runs and drove in two; LeMere and Bolduk each had three hits, with LeMere driving in two runs and Moroney plating three runs with two hits.
Freshman Danielle Rinaldi (Ewing, NJ) led Wesleyan with four hits, with freshman Marina Williams (San Dimas, CA) and freshman Brenna Monroe (Southwick, MA) both collecting two hits, with Monroe driving in two runs.
In the next game, Freshman Morgan Bolduk (Vernon) and Western New England University sophomore Aimee Kistner each pitched two-hit shutouts as the Warriors and Golden Bears split a non-conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon at the Eastern Softball Stadium. Behind Bolduk’s (5-4) six-strikeout performance, Eastern (9-12) broke open a tight game with three unearned runs in the sixth inning of the first game in a 5-0 victory. Western New England (9-7) gained the split when Kistner (4-3) allowed only one base runner on a walk over the final four innings, and senior cleanup hitter Jenn Luba drove in the only runs of the game with a two-run single in the fifth in the Golden Bears’ 2-0 victory.
The shutout was the second of the year for Bolduk and first for Kistner.
The only extra-base hit on the day came off the bat of Eastern freshman rightfielder
Alexis Tyrrell (Torrington), and came with one out in the third inning of a scoreless first game. Tyrrell moved to third on an infield ground ball and came home when she was hit by the ball by WNEU sophomore catcher Mallory Donelan. Sophomore third baseman Crysta Wolski’s (West Hartford) single sent home sophomore second baseman Jackie Lewis (Mystic) with an unearned run to make it 2-0 in the fourth inning of the first game, and the Warriors broke it open by scoring three runs in the sixth after there were two out and none on. An infield error got the inning going, Wolski then reached on an infield single, and sophomore catcher Megan Hodgdon (Cheshire) drove in the first run of the inning with a single. Freshman pinch hitter Kat Devolve (Plainfield) then laced a two-run single to center to make it 5-0.
Kistner put an end to Eastern’s six-game winning streak in the nightcap, the Warriors were only able to stay within striking distance as the Golden Bears stranded ten runners against sophomore lefty starter Morgan Sanson (Thomaston) and Bolduk. Bolduk replaced Sanson with two on in the fifth inning of a scoreless second game, and got a strikeout looking for the first out before Luba singled hard up the middle for the only two runs of the game.
Kistner fanned three and walked only one in the second game, with Bolduk walking only one in the route-going performance in the first. In two games, Bolduk allowed four hits and two walks while fanning ten. She was not charged with any runs. Hodgdon was the only player on either team with more than two hits. She reached four times with three singles and a walk, while Wolski had two hits. Bolduk, who started the second game at third base, handled eight chances defensively without an error. Freshman second baseman Emily Cooney had two hits in the second game for WNEU, while Luba and senior shortstop Lindsay Williams each had two hits in the doubleheader.
“The Warriors were only able to stay within striking distance”