Gulls in driver's seat with 3-1 victory
BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott softball team defeated Salve Regina in game two of the double elimination round this evening. Freshman Rachel Couto (Chelmsford, Mass.) ripped a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to lift the Gulls to a 3-1 victory. With the triumph the Blue and Green remain the lone undefeated team left in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Softball Tournament and will play a potential Championship game tomorrow at 1 p.m.
Also seeing action tonight at the Endicott site was Curry who knocked the University of New England from the tournament before getting ousted by the Golden Bears in game two at the Gordon site this evening. Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. #5 Western New England will face #2 Salve Regina, the winner will then face Endicott in a 1:00 game. Endicott needs to earn just one victory at 1:00 to claim the title.
Game 2: #1 Endicott 3, #2 Salve Regina 1
Game two was a battle for both sides as the pitching was stellar by both senior Nell O'Connor (Harwich, Mass.) and sophomore Nicole Parry (Quincy, Mass.). O'Connor (13-2) pitched a complete game while allowing just one run on 30 batters faced. Parry (10-6) pitched six innings and struck out four but allowed a homerun by Couto in the bottom of the sixth which gave the Gulls the victory.
The Seahawks got on the board first in the top of the third as freshman Lexi Soucie (North Easton, Mass.) singled through the right side to bring home senior Marissa Simpson (Brimfield, Mass.). Endicott answered back in the bottom of the third as senior Jesse Bilafer (Concord, Mass.) singled up the middle to advance freshman Chrissy Gikas (Danvers, Mass.) home.
The next three innings would be a battle offensively as both defenses held strong making some key plays and catches. The two teams combined for 13 players left on base, five from Endicott and eight from Salve Regina.
In the bottom of the sixth sophomore Emily Hoffman (Malden, Mass.) blasted a double to centerfield to get in scoring position. Couto then stepped up to the plate and cranked a two-run homer to give the Blue and Green a two run advantage.
Needing just three outs to secure the victory O'Connor and her comrades posted a 1-2-3 top of the seventh for the 3-1 triumph.
Tomorrow Endicott will look to bring home its 10th conference title, their last being in 2011. In the last 15 years the Blue and Green have been in the finals 14 times while earning nine straight titles from 2003-2011.