Saniuk, Cullen power softball over Colby

LEWISTON, Maine -- Propelled by junior captain Stacia Saniuk's two-run home run in the first inning and a complete-game performance by first-year pitcher Sarah Cullen, the Bates College softball team defeated NESCAC East Division rival Colby College 6-1 Thursday at Lafayette Street Field.

With its fifth win in the past seven games, Bates moved to 5-12 overall and 2-4 in the NESCAC East. Colby dropped to 6-12, 0-7.

Saniuk (Sharon, Mass.) blasted her team-high third home run of the season to left center to stake Bates to a 2-0 lead, while raising the Bates career home runs record she owns to 15.

Cullen (Dover, Mass.), meanwhile, scattered seven Mules hits over seven innings, allowing one run while striking out four to raise her record this season to 3-4. She is also 2-0 in NESCAC East Divsion play.

Bates added a run in the third for a 3-0 lead on junior Leah Citrin's (Rye Brook, N.Y.) RBI single before Colby got on the board in the fifth inning. First-year OF Annie Wilson (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) led off the inning with a triple, then came home on first-year RF Alex Essman's double. Essman (Littleton, Mass.) went 3-4 on the day, while junior 3B Carlie Minichino (Stratford, Conn.) went 2-4.

Bates got the lead back to three with a run in the fifth, as Saniuk singled home sophomore 2B Liz Stahler (Lyndonville, Vt.). The Bobcats added two more in the sixth inning with four hits, including a two-run single by junior 1B Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.).

Sophomore righthander Brittany Tasi (Shelton, Conn.) went the distance and accepted the loss for Colby to drop her record to 2-4.

The teams will play a doubleheader tomorrow at Colby, starting at 3 p.m.

BOX SCORE: Bates 6, Colby 1