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Softball sweeps previously unbeaten Colby

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College softball team swept previously undefeated Colby College in a doubleheader on Saturday, taking Game 1 6-4 and winning Game 2 7-2.

Bates moves to 4-9 overall and 2-3 in NESCAC East Division play, while the visiting Mules dropped to 10-2 overall and 0-2 in the NESCAC East.

Bates senior Stacia Saniuk (Sharon, Mass.) hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning in Game 1 to break a 4-4 tie, and first-year starting pitcher Kristen Finn (Winthrop, Mass.) shut out the Mules in the top of the seventh to preserve her first collegiate win, moving to 1-5 on the season. Finn scattered nine hits and one walk, allowing four runs, three earned, while striking out three.

Bates reached Colby starter Alyssa Crowell for four runs, two earned, on 10 hits in 4.1 innings. Reliever Randi Arsenault (3-1) came on in the fifth and accepted the loss, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out two in 1.2 innings of work.

The lead changed hands three times in the game. Colby struck first with a run in the third, as Allyson Cheever hit a two-out single and came home on an error. But Bates went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the inning with two runs, as first-year Kelly McManus (Plymouth, N.H.) singled and Leah Maciejewski (Tewksbury, Mass.) was hit by a pitch, and the two both later came home on a passed ball and an error.

Alex Essman clouted a three-run home run, her third of the season, in the fourth to put Colby back ahead at 4-2, but Bates tied the game at 4-4 with two runs in the fifth, on an RBI double by first-year Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) and an RBI groundout by senior Val Beckwith (Woburn, Mass.).

Five players had two hits for the Bobcats in Game 1: first-year Katherine Buckley (Middlebury, Conn.), McManus, Saniuk, senior Leah Citrin (Rye Brook, N.Y.) and Dobish. Essman was the lone multiple hitter for Colby, with two.

In Game 2, Colby jumped on Bates starter Sarah Cullen with two runs in the top of the first. Alyssa Lepore doubled and Carlie Minichino followed with a single for the Mules, setting up Tory Starr's RBI groundout. The Mules later pulled a successful double steal, starting with Essman stealing second and Minichino coming home on a delayed steal from third.

Bates made up the difference with two runs in the third, both scored on an error, and the Bobcats struck for five more runs on five hits in the fourth to go up 7-2. Maciejewski followed an RBI single by Dobish with a two-run single through the left side, and Buckley added another two-run single on a hard grounder that caromed off of Colby third baseman Minichino's glove.

Cullen (1-2) set down the side for Colby in innings two through seven to earn her first win of the season, allowing the two runs while scattering nine hits, walking one and striking out four. Brittany Tasi started for Colby and allowd no runs in 2.2 innings. Alyssa Crowell (4-1) accepted the loss, allowing seven runs, with only one earned, in 3.1 innings.

Maciejewski had three hits of Bates' 12 hits in Game 2, while Buckley, Saniuk and Dobish had two apiece. Lepore, Minichino and Essman had two hits apiece for the Mules.

Bates will host UMaine-Farmington in a doubleheader tomorrow starting at 12 p.m., while Colby will play a doubleheader at Southern Maine tomorrow at 1 p.m.

Game 1 Box Score: Bates 6, Colby 4

Game 2 Box Score: Bates 7, Colby 2