PLYMOUTH, N.H.—Whitney Roberts and Jessica Pietersen combined to allow just 11 hits and zero runs, as Plymouth State University (10-13, 5-2 Little East) earned a Little East Conference sweep of UMass Boston softball (4-20, 1-7 Little East) in the Panthers home opener Saturday afternoon.
Senior Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) led the Beacons with four hits in five at-bats Saturday. While sophomore Kelsey Cruse (Worcester, Mass.) recorded her first career extra-base hit with a double in two at-bats against Plymouth State.
Game One: Plymouth State University 6, UMass Boston 0
Plymouth State struck for four runs in the first and two more in the second inning, which was more than enough run support for Roberts.
The senior right-hander scattered seven hits over seven innings and struck out one to help the Panthers earn their first shutout win of the year.
Abrie Davis provided the majority of the damage for Plymouth State, as she blasted a 3-run homer in the bottom of the first to give Plymouth a 4-0 lead.
Morrison recorded two of the Beacons' seven hits and recorded their lone extra-base hit, a double in the top of the fourth.
Senior pitcher Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) took the loss after allowing eight hits and five earned runs over six innings.
Plymouth scratched across their first run of the contest on a Nicole Abreu double with one out in the inning. With two runners on and two down, Davis hit a 3-run homer to make it 4-0 Plymouth.
The Panthers tacked on two more runs in the second, as Nina Murray led off with a homer and Katie Kennard added a two-out RBI single.
Game Two: Plymouth State 8, UMass Boston 0 (5 Innings)
Kennard provided all the run support Pietersen would need in game two, as the sophomore first baseman recorded five RBI and Pietersen shut down the Beacons' bats en route to an 8-0 win.
Kennard, the reigning LEC Player of the Week, went 2-for-3 with a run scored and five RBI, including a 3-run homer in the fifth inning.
Pietersen allowed four hits and just one walk through five innings, to improve to 4-3 on the year.
Morrison finished a perfect 2-for-2 in game two, as she improved her batting average on the season from .302 to .354 with her four hits in five at-bats.
Cruse and Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) added the Beacons' only other two hits.
In the circle, Kaera Wyse (Danvers, Mass.) took the loss after allowing eight earned runs over 4.1 innings.
UMass Boston would put together the first rally of the second contest, as Cruse doubled over the left fielder's head in the top of the third with one out. She would move over to second on a groundout, but was stranded there to end the inning.
The Panthers recorded three runs in the bottom of the third, as Emma Rhodes recorded a one-out RBI single and Kennard added a two-run, two-out RBI double to give Plymouth a 3-0 lead.
Wyse kept the Panthers offense quiet again in the fourth inning, but Plymouth State earned the mercy-rule victory with five runs in the bottom of the fifth.
After a line-out to start the inning, Plymouth recorded a walk and back-to-back singles, before Kennard hit a 3-run homer to make it 7-0. Lisa Osborne followed with a pinch-hit double and Davis closed out the game with an RBI single to make it 8-0.
UMass Boston will return to action Sunday at Noon, as the Beacons will host Western Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader.