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Softball sweeps Fisher in home opener doubleheader









LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College softball team had a field day in its home opener Sunday, with a pair of 5-inning, mercy-rule-shortened victories over Fisher College at Lafayette Street Field. Bates won Game 1 by a 14-5 score and the Game 2 by a 14-2 score.

The host Bobcats (3-10) got winning pitching performances from first-year Sarah Cullen (Dover, Mass.) in Game 1 and first-year Liz Johnston (Westport, Conn.) in Game 2, and collected 28 hits in total, including the first career home runs for junior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) in Game 1 and senior Shayna Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.) in Game 2.

The visiting, NAIA-member Falcons dropped to 7-16 on the season despite the 12th and 13th home runs of the season by sophomore Jackie Streeter (Westminster, Mass.), who was a combined 3-4 at the plate with 3 walks, 4 RBIs and 3 runs scored. Streeter pitched for Fisher in the Game 2, alowing 12 runs on 15 hits over four innings. First-year Sonya Newton (Winchendon, Mass.) took the loss in Game 1.

Fisher took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning as Streeter walked to lead off and later came home on a single by first-year Ana Cuartas (Revere, Mass.). Bates came back with a run in the bottom of the inning, as junior Leah Citrin (Rye Brook, N.Y.), who had a team-high 5 hits and 5 runs scored on the day, led off with a single and scored on a single by senior Alex Bethel (Aspen, Colo.), who was 4-5 on the day with 3 runs and 2 RBIs.

Streeter's two-run home run in the third gave Fisher a brief 3-1 lead before Bates broke the game open in the bottom of the inning, sending 17 batters to the plate and scoring 13 runs on 10 hits and 3 errors by the Falcons. Beckwith homered to center field to score sophomore Jean McIntyre (Marshfield, Mass.), who had led off with a bunt single. Beckwith hit a sharp run-scoring single later in the inning. Sophomore Liz Stahler (Lyndonville, Vt.) was also 2-2 with two runs in the inning, and sophomore Carlen Arima (Bellevue, Wash.) cleared the bases late in the inning with a three-run double to left.

Cullen raised her record to 2-3 with her second straight victory, allowing three runs over four innings while striking out five.

In Game 2, Johnston was even more effective in earning her first collegiate victory and raising her record to 1-1. Johnson scattered six hits and allowed two runs over five innings while striking out eight Falcons.

Bates was in firm control from the start, plating a run in the first inning as junior Stacia Saniuk (Sharon, Mass.) hit a sharp single, which was followed by a single by Citrin that scored pinch-runner Cullen.

The Bobcats rapped out four hits in the second to add three more runs, capped by an RBI triple by Stahler that just missed clearing the center field fence.

Bates scored four more runs in the third, thanks to three hits and three errors by Fisher. First-year Kim Neubert (North Haven, Conn.) hit an RBI single and later came home on a two-run error by Fisher catcher Jessica Augusta (Lawrence, Mass.) on a play that began with Neubert stealing second base.

Saniuk, who was 4-7 on the day, doubled to lead off Bates' six-run fourth inning and returned to the plate later in the inning to hit an RBI single. In between, Waldman laced a three-run home run over the center field fence, and Bates led 14-1 heading into the fifth inning.

Bates plays a doubleheader tomorrow (Monday, April 14) at home against UMaine-Farmington, starting at 3 p.m.

Game 1 Box Score (Bates 14, Fisher 5)

Game 2 Box Score (Bates 14, Fisher 2)