FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Framingham State used a pair of big innings in both ends of a doubleheader to claim a MASCAC sweep on a cool Tuesday afternoon. Melissa Cochrane was unhittable in the early innings of game one and a Buccaneer comeback in the fifth gave Massachusetts Maritime Academy a chance to upset the Rams, but a big fifth inning continued into a high-scoring second game and 11-3, 8-0 results.
The Buccaneers kept the game extremely close until the bottom of the fourth inning, but two-run frames in the bottoms of the fourth and fifth innings ruined a good comeback attempt from the MMA softballers.
Framingham scored an unearned run without collecting a hit in the first inning and neither side threatened until the third. Kaylene Murphy, who ran the Boston Marathon for Dana Farber yesterday, had the game's first hit to lead off the inning. The fleet-footed senior clearly did not feel any after-effects as she roped a double to right center and scampered to third on a one-out sacrifice, but the Bucs left her stranded.
The Rams broke up Nalette's no-hitter in the third as well, but they also could not plate the run. However, that all changed in the bottom of the fourth. A one-out double by Grace Caughey drove in one and she scored on an error. Kirsten Dick followed with a triple and scored on a Mycala Moody single. The final blow came on a double by Megan Downing.
Showing their ability to rally, which has been on display in recent games, Kristin Arthur singled to center and moved over when Murphy was plunked. Melissa Cochrane came through as she has so often with a booming double to right center to score Arthur. After a bunt, a grounder plated Murphy and Jill Corazzini drove in Cochrane on a one-base hit to right.
With the score 6-3, Framingham set to work in the bottom of the fifth and an Anna Dziok leadoff triple spelled trouble as she scored on an error. Caughey had another two-bagger, while Dick had a double of her own, while singles from Dayna Marchant and Downing ended the game due to mercy rule and pre-empted any chance of a second comeback attempt.
Cochrane (1-8) was superb in the early going before taking the loss. She continued to attack the strike zone, failing to issue a free pass and striking out two. Kelsi Gunarathne (8-5) was dominant over the first three innings, scattering two walks and a hit, while striking out six. Jessica Pietersen pitched the final two frames.
The story was similar in the second game, as the Rams rode two big innings to a mercy rule victory. Four runs crossed the plate in the second, with a double from Kayla Finacchiaro starting the scoring. In the third, FSU added two unearned runs with two already out.
Meanwhile, the Bucs advanced only three runners to second, only once with fewer than two outs. The game ended on a Julianna McGovern pinch hit RBI-double as Framingham walked off.
Caughey (5-2) pitched three two-hit innings, whiffing one, while Marissa Vellucci finished off the final two frames with a K of her own. Each gave up only two hits. Jenna Nalette (1-7) pitched better than her fate, surrendering four earned runs in four frames and avoiding any base on balls.
Caughey was certainly the day's MVP, going 4-for-6 with three runs and two doubles in the two games. Moody was also 4-for-6 and 3-for-4 with a triple.
Corazzini had a hit in both games and went 2-for-4 with a walk for Maritime. Nalette also collected a safety in both ends of the twinbill, going 2-for-5.
Framingham took the lead in the MASCAC with the sweep, improving to 6-2 in conference play and 15-13 overall. MMA is 2-18, 0-8 and will next host Westfield State (7-13, 3-3) in another league doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is at noon and all are welcome to Rollins Field.
Gabriel Fidler, Sports Information Associate