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Softball defeats Westfield State on opening day in Florida

CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Bates softball team opened the 2012 season on Thursday by splitting its first two games, defeating Westfield State 6-4 after falling 5-2 to Fredonia State.

First-year Kelsey Freedman (Falmouth, Maine) won in her first career start, going seven innings and allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out six Owls.

After mustering just two hits in the first game, Bates' offense got chugging against Westfield State -- the Bobcats rapped out 14 hits, walked four times and stole five bases in the game. Senior Karen Ullmann (Ramsey, N.J.) went 2-for-4 with a triple, senior Courtney Talcott (Sutton, Mass.) went 2-for-2, and both senior Lauren Dobish (Chambersburg, Pa.) and junior Mary Lewis (Gardiner, Maine) also had two hits apiece.

Dobish's double in the sixth inning proved to be the game-winning hit, and senior Libby King's (South Portland, Maine) pinch hit single also gave the Bobcats the lead in the fourth.

Talcott and junior AnnaMarie Martino (Plymouth, Minn.) both had hits against Fredonia. Senior Kristen Finn (Winthrop, Mass.) allowed seven hits and struck out two, going the six-inning distance in the loss.

Talcott finished 3-for-4 on the day, along with two walks, for an on-base percentage of .833.

Bates' venture at the National Training Center Tournament continues Friday with games against Messiah College (3pm) and RPI (5pm).

Box Score: Fredonia State 5, Bates 2

Box Score: Bates 6, Westfield State 4