CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Bates College softball team scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to break a 6-6 tie and defeat Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 7-6 on Friday, to gain another split on the second of the team's three-day trip at the National Training Center. In the Bobcats' first game of the day, they fell 5-2 to Messiah College.
The lead changed hands four times in the RPI game before senior captain Leah Maciejewski (Tewksbury, Mass.) hit an RBI single to tie the game 6-6 in the sixth inning. First-year reliever Kelsey Freedman (Falmouth, Maine) then retired the Engineers (6-5) in order in the top of the seventh.
Bates sophomore Alayna Garbarino (Reading, Mass.) and senior Kelsey Flaherty (South Portland, Maine) reached base on consecutive one-out walks in the bottom of the seventh, and then both runners moved up on a sacrifice by senior Courtney Talcott (Sutton, Mass.). Senior Karen Ullmann (Ramsey, N.J.) worked the count to 3-2 before striking a hard-hit ball to shortstop. The throw to first drew RPI's first baseman's foot off the bag before Ullmann reached base safely, allowing Garbarino to score the game-ending run.
Freedman recorded the biggest out of the game in the sixth inning: with runners on second and third, Freedman struck out Gillian McCarthy, who had hit a two-run home run off of Freedman in the fifth.
First-year pitcher Brenna Callahan (Milton, Mass.) made her first career start and went four innings, allowing four hits and striking out one. Freedman pitched the last three innings in earning the win to improve to 2-0. Maciejewski led Bates' effectively patient offense in the game, going 3-for-4.
Senior Kelly McManus (Plymouth, N.H.) starred for Bates in the loss to Messiah (9-4), who won the Division III championship in 2009. McManus not only went 2-for-3 at the plate, but in center field she made a leaping, over-the-shoulder catch of a line drive. Junior AnnaMarie Martino (Plymouth, Minn.) hit a double in the game.
Senior Kristen Finn (Winthrop, Mass.) went the distance against the Falcons, allowing four hits and no walks while striking out two over six innings.
Bates plays Western Connecticut State Saturday at 9am, then Western New England College at 11am before flying back to Maine.