Jessica Furtado Drives in Five Runs to Highlights Softball's 8-5 Win over UNH in Game One of DH
Freshman Laura Eidam launches three-run homer to help key come-from-behind victory in game one
WEST HAVEN, Conn. (April 1, 2012) -- The Franklin Pierce University softball team split its doubleheader at New Haven on Sunday; winning game one by an 8-5 count, but dropping an 11-0 decision in five innings in game two at UNH Softball Field in West Haven. The Ravens moved to 9-12 overall and 7-5 in the Northeast-10, while the Chargers moved to 14-12 and 6-6 in league play.
Franklin Pierce's game one win did not come without its tense moments as the Ravens had to battle back from an early three-run deficit to pull out the gutsy victory. In fact, the Ravens pushed across a combined seven runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to pull off the win. Senior Jessica Furtado (Taunton, Mass.) played a major role in both innings as she drove in a career-high five runs in the victory.
The Ravens trailed 4-1 in the top of the fifth inning and had runners on second and third, but two outs were already up on the board. Furtado stepped to the plate and after a couple of pitches roped a single to center field, bringing in senior Jayme Bilafer (Concord, Mass.) and freshman Alicia Dean (Danvers, Mass.) on the play.
Furtado's two-out, two-run single breathed life into Franklin Pierce's rally, but it seemed like the effort may have gone for not in the bottom of the inning when New Haven's Brooke Fisher launched a lead-off home run to stake the Chargers to a 5-3 lead.
Franklin Pierce didn't flinch and completed the comeback in the sixth with five runs to take an 8-5 lead. Senior outfielder Rachel Baxter (Cumberland, R.I.) singled to begin the frame and classmate Jamie Verner (Natick, Mass.) followed by drawing a walk to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Freshman Laura Eidam (Stamford, Conn.) then stepped to the plate and with one swing of the bat deposited a ball over the left-field wall for a three-run shot, giving the Ravens a one-run edge at the time.
The Ravens, though, weren't done yet and sophomore Jamie Wiley (Cape Vincent, N.Y.) singled in the next at-bat to keep the rally going. Dean singled through the right side two batters later and senior Nikki Pratt (Gardner, Mass.) was issued a walk to load the bases with one out. Furtado, again, came to the plate and delivered once more as she sent a base-hit into right field, bringing home Wiley and Dean.
New Haven didn't have an answer for the Ravens' big inning and quietly went away in both the sixth and seventh innings, thus sealing the win for Franklin Pierce and snapping a two-game losing skid. Freshman hurler Jessica Colson (Feeding Hills, Mass.), who came on in relief of starter Kaitlyn Johnson (New Boston, N.H.) in the sixth inning, struck out a pair of Charger batters in the seventh inning to close out the win and earn the save.
Johnson earned the win (4-5) in the
circle for the Ravens as she went 5.0 innings, yielding five runs
(only two earned) on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
As mentioned earlier, Furtado drove in five runs in the game,
including knocking in Bilafer in the third inning on a double down
the left-field line. Dean had a pair of hits in the game and scored
New Haven didn't let the game one loss spoil its afternoon completely as the Chargers went right to work in game two, scoring one run in the first and three more in the second, including a two-run shot from Lindsey Couturier.
The Chargers exploded for seven runs in the fourth to set the eight-run rule. Couturier drove in two more runs with a single to right-center field, while Fisher doubled home a pair later in the inning to highlight the surge.
Junior pitcher Rachel Allen (Hull, Mass.) took the loss in the circle for Franklin Pierce after going 3.1 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. She fell to 3-5 with the setback. Alana Wesche earned the win for UNH as she worked all five innings and gave up just two hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Wiley and Verner each stroked a base hit for the Ravens in the setback.
Franklin Pierce returns to action Tuesday when the Ravens travel to Easton, Mass. to face Stonehill in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.
For more information on Franklin Pierce softball, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens).