NEWPORT, R.I. – Freshman Laura Anne Dinan (Monterey, Mass.) delivered a two-out, two-run, walk-off single in extra innings during game one, while junior Jen Cruver (North Haven, Conn.) tossed a complete-game shutout in the nightcap to lead the Salve Regina University softball team to a sweep over the University of New England during a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) doubleheader at Toppa Field on Saturday afternoon. The Seahawks earned a 5-4 victory in game one and a 1-0 win in game two, improving to 14-12 (9-3 CCC) on the season, while the Nor'easters dip to 14-10 (6-4 CCC) on the year.
In game one, the Nor'easters grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when junior Casey Brigham (New London, Conn.) led off with a single, advanced to second on a bunt, and then came around to score on a double down the left field line by senior Ashley Gott (Winterport, Maine).
The Seahawks answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score at one-all. Dinan got things going with a leadoff single. After a sac bunt moved her into scoring position, Dinan stole third and eventually scored on an RBI single by sophomore Marissa Simpson (Brimfield, Mass.).
The two teams held each other scoreless over the next four innings of play, sending the game into extra frames.
UNE rallied for three runs on just one hit in the top of the eighth, receiving a two-run single by senior Maegen Johnson (Standish, Maine) to grab a 4-1 advantage.
The Seahawks fought right back in the bottom half of the eighth, and after a run scoring triple by junior Jillian Quintana (Denver, Colo.), and sacrifice fly by junior Megan Jakiela (Meriden, Conn.), the Seahawks had the tying and go ahead runs in scoring position with two outs for freshman Laura Anne Dinan. The freshman right fielder came through with a walk-off, two-run single to right, lifting the Seahawks to an exciting 5-4 victory.
In the nightcap, Salve Regina's Jen Cruver and UNE's Julie Bigelow (Montpelier, Vt.) locked-up in a classic pitcher's duel, as neither team was able to score through the opening three innings of play.
The Seahawks finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth, as Simpson smacked a one-out triple down the right field line before scampering home on a line drive, sacrifice fly to left by junior Ali Muehlbronner (Glenside, Pa.).
That one run was all Cruver needed, as the junior held the Nor'easters off the board the rest of the way to capture the 1-0 complete game, shutout victory.
Both teams return to conference action with doubleheaders on the road this Sunday. The Nor'easters will face Roger Williams at 9:30 a.m., while the Seahawks will battle Wentworth at 1 p.m.