Trinity Softball Splits Twinbill With Western Connecticut

Nicole Towner '19 had three hits and picked a runner off third base
Nicole Towner '19 had three hits and picked a runner off third base

Hartford, Conn. - Sophomore RHP Rachael Smith  (Winchester, Mass.) tossed a three-hit shutout with nine strikeouts to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 4-0 victory in game two of a softball doubleheader against the visiting Western Connecticut State University Colonials this afternoon. Trinity, which lost the opening game, 10-8, in extra innings, is now 13-6 entering a three-game weekend series against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) East Division rival Tufts on Friday and Saturday.  The Colonials move to 11-13.

Smith put on a dominant performance, allowing just three singles and two walks and the Bantam defense did not commit an error.  Smith did not allow a Colonial runner past second base after the first inning and closed the game by retiring 10 batters in a row including five on strikeouts.  Senior hurler Emily Cintorino (Bristol, Conn.) was nearly as effective, yielding five hits and four unearned runs with 6 K's and no walks over five innings but was saddled with the loss for the Colonials

Western Connecticut threatened in the first inning thanks a to a lead-off walk by senior C Erin Weber (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and a single by classmate Candace Lawrence (West Haven, Conn.), but Trinity first-year C Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.) picked Weber off third base to help Smith work out of trouble. Trinity scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, as senior co-captain Erica Quinones (Trumbull, Conn.) came through with a sacrifice fly and Towner added an RBI single.  The Bantams added two more runs on a two-run single by sophomore Erica Merullo (Lynnfield, Mass.) in the fourth inning. The Colonials committed costly fielding errors to put the lead-off batter on base in both the first and fourth frames, and both came around the score.

The opener was scoreless through four innings but the teams combined for 12 runs in the seventh and eighth frames including three by the Colonials in the top of the eighth.  The extra inning started with a runner on second base, and Colonial sophomore Jenna Guadioso (East Haven, Conn.) beat out a squeeze bunt to drive home the go-ahead run with one out.  Weber added a two-run homer to put the visitors ahead, 10-7.  Trinity senior 2B Elizabeth McQuaid (Lowell, Mass.) delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, but Cintorino got out of the jam to save the victory for starter Alli Sabith (Meriden, Conn.).

Trailing, 1-0, Trinity scored four times in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-out grand slam over the right field fence by freshman Courtney Erickson (Everett, Mass.).  Western Connecticut got one run back in the sixth and scored five runs in the seventh inning, including three on a homer by sophomore Kayla Nowak (North Branford, Conn.), but the Bantams forced the extra frame on a run-scoring hit by Quinones, a two-run single by Towner, and two Colonials errors.

Sabith allowed seven hits, three walks, and two earned runs over seven innings with 10 k'S, and Weber was 4-for-5 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer to pace the Colonial offense in game one.  McQuaid and Quinones each had two hits for Trinity in the first game, while Towner had a pair of hits in the second game.  Lawrence finished 5-for-7 for the day at the plate for Western Connecticut, including two hits in the nigtcap.  The Colonials totaled seven errors in the twinbill to just two for the home team.