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Softball team defeats Thomas College 7-3

LEWISTON, Maine -- Junior righthander Christina Knobel notched a complete-game victory and a potent offense was powered by junior Leah Citrin's first-inning, three-run home run, as the Bates College softball team downed Thomas College 7-3 Tuesday at Lafayette Street Field.

Thomas (8-7) will play at Husson tomorrow, while Bates (4-12) will next host Colby on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Knobel (Walpole, Mass.) raised her record to 1-2 by limiting the visiting Terriers to three runs, one earned, in seven innings, her longest performance of the season. Bates raised its record to 4-12 with its fourth win in the last six games.

Thomas scored on the first at-bat of the game, as Mallorie Blakney hit a bunt single in front of home plate fielded by Citrin (Rye Brook, N.Y.), whose throw sailed wide of first and into right field foul territory, allowing Blakney to circle all the bases while first-year right fielder Jacquie Macdonald (Milton, Mass.) chased the ball.

Citrin made up for the error in a big way in the bottom of the first. Sophomore 2B Liz Stahler (Lyndonville, Vt.) drove a double to center field, then moved to third on junior C Stacia Saniuk's (Sharon, Mass.) single. Next came Citrin, who drove Thomas righthander Jana Fetterhoff's pitch deep into the power alley in left field for her second round-tripper of the season and her team-high 10th RBI.

Saniuk and junior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.) each hit RBI doubles in Bates' three-run second inning, which gave the Bobcats a 6-2 lead. Sarah Estes doubled and scored for Thomas in the fourth, but the Terriers could muster no more runs in the game. Bates got an insurance run in the fifth when Macdonald walked to lead off, moved to second on sophomore Jean McIntyre's (Marshfield, Mass.) sacrifice bunt, and came home on a pair of wild pitches.

Nicole Chinnock (3-4) and Estes (3-3) accounted for six of the Terriers' eight hits in the game.

Bates 4-2 in past 6 games

Over the past six games, Bates' offense has erupted for 45 runs while batting .412 as a team, with five home runs, a slugging percentage of .556 and an on-base percentage of .467. The standouts have been many. While Beckwith has homered twice and hit .474 over the last six games, Saniuk has hit at a .545 clip and set the Bates career home runs record yesterday against UMaine-Farmington with her 14th. Jean McIntyre has been the sparkplug, batting .571 over that time, stealing five bases and scoring six runs.

Also during that period, Knobel and first-year pitchers Sarah Cullen (Dover, Mass.) and Liz Johnston (Westport, Conn.) have all stepped up with complete-game victories -- in Cullen's case, twice.

BOX SCORE: Bates 7, Thomas 3