Hartford, Conn. - Allison Rutz (Essex Junction, Vt.) went 3-for-3 with a double, a two-run homer and a pair of runs scored to help lead the visiting Bowdoin College Polar Bears to a 7-2 victory over the Trinity College Bantams on Friday in both teams' New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) softball divisional opener in Hartford. The Bantams fall for the first time in five games, moving to 7-4 overall, while Bowdoin improves to 12-5 on the year. The two sides are back at it again tomorrow for a doubleheader, beginning at noon, to finish the regular season series.
After a scoreless first, Bowdoin put up two runs in the top of the second inning thanks to Rutz's second home run of the season that scored Maddie Rouhana (Falmouth, Maine). Trinity responded with a run in the home half of the third inning thanks to a solo blast off the bat of sophomore CF Jenna Thomas (Orange, Conn.) that made it a 2-1 game after three innings of play.
With one out in the fourth, Rutz doubled to get into scoring position before scoring on a Bantam fielding miscue to make it a 3-1 game. The Bantams once again answered, this time in the form of a solo home run from sophomore 1B Gillian Birk (Westport, Conn.) with two outs, to cut the deficit back to one at the end of the fourth.
Bowdoin plated three runs in the fifth to open up a 6-2 lead before adding an insurance run in the seventh. Bowdoin worked two on with no out in the fifth before Caroline Rice (Santa Ana, Calif.) came up and clubbed a two-run triple down the right field line that scored Kasey Cunningham (Old Orchard Beach, Maine) and Karlye Pallotta (Great Falls, Va.). Rice scored the following at bat thanks to a sacrifice fly from Samantha Valdivia (North Hills, Calif.).
Trinity tried to get a rally going in the sixth when senior captain SS Courtney Erickson (Everett, Mass.) singled and junior C Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.) doubled to put two on with one out. The rally fell short as Bowdoin pitcher Samantha Roy (Washington, D.C.) induced back-to-back outs to keep the Bantams off the board and hold the four-run lead. The Polar Bears capped the day's scoring with a four-bagger in the top of the seventh off the bat of Natasha Fingar (Woodinville, Wash.) before Roy retired the side in order in the home half to seal the win.
Roy struck out four and scattered six hits across the complete game effort, picking up her fourth win of the spring in the circle. Trinity rookie Jordan Stephan (South Orange, N.J.) struck out a pair in her fifth complete game of the season. The Bantams were led offensively by Erickson who was the lone Bantam with a multi-hit performance, going 2-for-3 with a walk.