CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Bates softball team came up with two clutch wins on Friday, defeating Westfield State 4-3 with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, then shutting out Becker College 2-0 with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Trailing 3-1 and going into the bottom of the seventh against Westfield, sophomore Brenna Callahan (Milton, Mass.) and senior Mary Lewis (Gardiner, Maine) led off with back-to-back singles. Sophomore Kelsey Freedman (Falmouth, Maine) loaded the bases with a one-out single, and junior Alayna Garbarino (Reading, Mass.) followed with a fourth single, scoring Callahan. The Owls got one out closer to the win by inducing Bates into a pop fly, bringing up Bates senior Caroline Gattuso (North Reading, Mass.). Gattuso delivered in the clutch with a double, scoring Lewis with the tying run and Freedman with the game-ending, winning run on a close play at home plate.
Freedman pitched the last three innings of scoreless relief to earn the victory for Bates, striking out five Owls in the process. Gattuso went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs. Callahan started in the circle and went four innings, allowing three runs (two earned) with six strikeouts. Westfield scored a run in the first, then assumed a 3-1 lead with two runs in the second.
Westfield (2-6) pitcher Emily Mailloux pitched seven full innings, allowing Bates four runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts. Kate Wishnis went 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored, and Courtney Begin went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Bates (3-1) went on to post a 2-0 win over Becker College, with Freedman and Gattuso combining for eight strikeouts in a three-hit shutout. Freedman threw the first three innings and struck out five. Gattuso came on to start the fourth, allowing a hit to the first batter she faced and holding the Hawks (3-7) hitless the rest of the way.
Kelsey Norberg (3-3) went the full seven innings for Becker and kept the game at a scoreless draw through five innings. Bates broke the ice in the top of the sixth, when senior AnnaMarie Martino (Plymouth, Minn.) reached base and advanced all the way to third base on a Becker error. First-year Karen Lockhart (East Greenwich, R.I.) followed with a sacrifice fly to right field for the 1-0 lead. In the seventh, Bates sophomore Molly Brown (South Dartmouth, Mass.) hit an RBI single up the middle to score Lewis with an insurance run. Gattuso's 1-2-3 seventh inning finished off the 2-0 day.
Brown was 3-for-4 at the plate for Bates, for half of the Bobcats' six hits.
Bates finishes up National Training Center play on Saturday with a 1pm game against Bethany (W.Va.) College (originally scheduled to be a game against Oswego State), followed by a 3pm matchup against UMass-Boston.