FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Junior Dayna Marchant (East Bridgewater, Mass.) went 4-for-4 with two runs scored as the top seed Framingham State University softball team defeated No. 4 seed Worcester State University 6-2 in one quarterfinal of the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Softball Championship Tournament at Maple Street Field.
With the win, the Rams (28-11) advance in the winner's bracket of the tournament and face Salem State, who defeated Westfield State 7-6 in 11 innings in today's other quarterfinal, at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Maple Street Field.
With the loss, the Lancers (18-17) fall into the loser's bracket and will face Westfield State on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Maple Street Field in an elimination game.
Marchant paced the Rams with her four hits and in the process established a new Fitchburg State single season hit mark with 53. Sophomore Kayla Finacchiaro (Natick, Mass.) went 3-for-3 for the Rams and drove in five runs, while junior Megan Downing (Hanson, Mass.) scored twice.
The Rams took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Marchant reached on an infield single and moved to third on two pass balls. Freshman Mycala Moody (North Attleboro, Mass.) followed with a walk and took second for runners on second and third with no outs. After an out, Finacchiaro delivered a two run single to center.
The Rams extended their lead to 5-0 with three runs in the bottom of the third. The Rams loaded the bases on a single from Marchant, a walk and a single from junior Anna Dziok (Southampton, Mass.). Finacchiaro cleared the bases with a double to center.
The Lancers got on the board in the top of the fourth inning. Junior Sydney Despres (Sterling, Mass.) reached on an error and came around to score on a double to deep left by senior Dakota Smith-Porter (Montague, Mass.).
The Lancers threatened in the top of the sixth with runners on the corners and two outs, but sophomore Kelsi Gunarathne (North Providence, RI) was able to induce a ground ball and end the inning.
Marchant tagged on the final run of the game for the Rams in the bottom of the sixth as she tripled to left and scored on an error.
The Lancers threatened in the top of the seventh. Senior Kayla Humphrey (Wallingford, Conn.) reached on an error and junior Kaci Panarelli (Shrewsbury, Mass.) followed with a single to center. After a strikeout and a fielder's choice, senior Courtney Salisbury (Cranston, RI) walked to load the bases. Panarelli scored from third on a pass ball and a walk reloaded the bases, but Gunarathne was able to get a fly ball to end the game and secure the victory.
Gunarathne improved to 14-6 on the year with the victory going seven innings and allowing two unearned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
Humphrey took the loss for the Lancers going two and a third and allowing five earned runs on five hits, while Smith-Porter went three and two thirds in relief allowing an unearned run on three hits.
Release Courtesy of Framingham State Sports Information