By Cait Kemp
The Springfield College softball team improved its record to 11-3 after winning back-to-back games against Worcester State on Sunday.
In the first game, the Pride won by a score of 4-2, and their offense erupted in the second to finish 9-2.
Clean defense was the name of the game for the Pride. Pitching for Springfield was Gillian Kane, Amelia DeRosa, Ashley Pugliese and Emily Gell. All four pitched solid throughout the two games, and behind them was a field that mirrored that, finishing with zero errors across both games.
“This is the most depth we’ve had,” Springfield College head coach Kate Bowen said of the pitchers. “We have six pitchers on staff and everyone’s been starting a game or coming in relief, so I think it’s really great how much depth we have so no one feels that they have to go the full seven.”
Kane pitched the first four for Springfield, only allowing two runs. She went 2-for-2 at the plate and scored the Pride’s first run of the day off a single from Maggie Britt.
Springfield scored three more times in the bottom of the third to go up 4-0 on Worcester State. The Lancers scored twice in the top of the fourth but could not get past the strong Springfield defense for the remainder of the game.
The second game started slow for Springfield, scoring one run in the first inning but not having much luck at the plate after that. In the top of the fourth, Worcester State’s Bailey Tammaro scored on a hit by Emma Lanpher to take the lead 2-1.
Finally, in the bottom of the fourth, Springfield’s bats lit up and the Pride went on an eight-run rally. The spark was first-year Carissa Pecchia’s walk. Michaela Ponticello eventually drove Pecchia in on a single. Later in the inning after going through the lineup and scoring six more runs, Pecchia was at the plate again and nailed a line drive RBI up the middle.
“The energy with all my teammates on the fence constantly cheering fires everyone up,” Pecchia said. “As a team, when we’re on, we’re going to string all of our hits together and it definitely made a big impact in that inning.”
By the end of the inning, the Pride was up 9-2 over Worcester State.
“We were talking about it, we might not get it the first time through the lineup,” Bowen said. “They communicated with each other what they saw that next at-bat so I think going up everyone had a really good approach and once one hit goes, it’s contagious and we had a rally going.”
Springfield continued to play lights out on defense and Gell closed out the game on the mound. She tallied five strikeouts along with only allowing one hit in her three innings that she pitched.
“The team doing what they did coming in with getting all those runs makes my job a lot easier,” Gell said. “The support offensively through getting hits and scoring runs is the support on the field and you can’t ask for more than that.”
For the remainder of the game, the Pride was knocking on the door but just couldn’t quite get the momentum to score again. They concluded with a score of 9-2 after a great showing of poise throughout the doubleheader.
One of the biggest challenges can be playing well through two games, but the Pride didn’t bat an eye as they accomplished that.
“I think a lot of stuff throughout preseason and even in Florida, playing 10 games in five days, waking up early, doing that together makes us a really tough group mentally and physically, that’s what it comes down to and that’s what makes a big difference,” Gell said.