March 27, 2012

Warriors christen new field with sweep of Seahawks

MANSFIELD, Conn. - Senior Kassondra Silva (Hamden) came within an out of her first complete game since 2010 in the nightcap and hit her first home run among three hits on the day ended the opener as Eastern Connecticut State University opened its new campus field with a 9-0, 3-1 non-conference softball sweep of Salve Regina University Tuesday at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.

Freshman rightfielder Laura Anne Dinan (Monterey, Mass.) had two of Salve Regina's five hits on the day and drew the team's only walk and scored its only run.

Silva's two-run home run – the first of her collegiate career -- with nobody out in the bottom of the sixth inning ended the opening contest due to the eight-run rule.

The home games were the first for all but four seniors for Eastern (11-1), which had swept six doubleheaders the past two seasons playing at the University of Connecticut while the current facility was being built.

The Warriors, ranked fifth nationally and second in New England, have won ten straight while Salve (7-7) had a four-game winning streak snapped with its first losses since returning from its Florida trip.

Senior All-America Molly Rathbun (Hebron)  shut  out  the Seahawks on two hits -- a third-inning infield hit with two out and a clean single to right by No. 8 hitter Kristen Parolise (Hamden, Conn.) leading off the top of the sixth. Rathbun (9-1) established a program career record with her 38th shutout and moved to within one complete game of tying that program record.  She struck out 11 without a walk in the opener.

Silva (2-0), who missed all of last year with an injury after lettering in 2010 following her transfer from the Division I level, spaced three singles in separate innings with four strikeouts and a walk before giving way to Rathbun, who got a game-ending called strikeout to strand the tying runs on base in the seventh. The save extended her program record to 12.

Led by junior third baseman Arielle Cooper (Mystic), six Eastern players recorded at least two hits in the doubleheader.  Cooper had a double, home run (her  (the 15th of her career) and two singles in seven at-bats, scored two runs and drove in two. She moved to within four of 100 hits in her career.

Sophomore centerfielder Mattie Brett (Waterford), Silva, senior rightfielder Priscilla Alicea (Stratford) and Rathbun all collected three hits, with freshman first baseman Sam Rossette (Shelton) contributing two.

Courtesy of ECSU sports information