WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State University softball team split a pair of matchups against crosstown rival Clark University Tuesday evening in non-conference action at Raymond Diamond. Clark took game one by a final score of 7-0, before Worcester State rebounded to down the Cougars 10-3 in game two.
With the split, Worcester State moves to 2-16 overall on the season.
Game 1 - Clark 7, Worcester State 0
Clark got all the offense it needed in the top of the first inning, as freshman Francesca Cirone (Franklin Square, N.Y.) put the Cougars on the board in a big way, sending a three-run home run over the center field wall to put her team on top 3-0. Clark tacked one more run onto its lead in the top of the second on a double steal, as Kayleigh McHugh (Pepperell, Mass.) scampered home from third.
Cirone did more damage in the top of the fifth inning to put Clark up 5-0, sending an RBI double to left center field. An RBI single from sophomore JC Urella (North Grafton, Mass.) and another RBI double from Cirone pushed Clark's lead to 7-0 in the top of the seventh for a little insurance as the Cougars closed out the game one victory.
Worcester State's Carly Zielinski (Monson, Mass.) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on three hits in 1.2 innings pitched. Taylor Erickson (Natick, Mass.) got the complete game shutout for the Cougars, allowing nine hits and striking out six in the victory.
Game 2 - Worcester State 10, Clark 3
Worcester State's offense came to play in the nightcap as the Lancers grabbed their second win in their last three games.
The game started off as a pitchers' duel before Worcester State got on the board first in the bottom of the third inning, as the Lancers got the game's first run on an error by the centerfielder to go up 1-0.
In the fourth, the hosts put up a five spot to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Senior Monica Ferrazzani (North Reading, Mass.) got the surge started with an RBI double down the left field line. Two batters later, Samantha Stake (Worcester, Mass.) hit a sacrifice fly to right field to extend the lead to 3-0, before junior Kaiulani Ennis (Swansea, Mass.), tasting blood in the water, hammered a three-run bomb over the centerfield wall to give the Lancers a commanding 6-0 lead.
Senior Haley Scola (Worcester, Mass.) put the Lancers on top by seven in the fifth inning as she blasted her first home run since her freshman year over the fence in left for a solo shot. Freshman Jessica Martin (Winthrop, Mass.) responded for the Cougars in the top of the sixth inning by sending a three-run homer of her own over the left field wall.
Ennis took a big chomp out of Clark's comeback chances in the bottom of the sixth inning as she sent another three-run shot over the wall for her second home run of the game, solidifying Worcester's 10-3 victory.
Senior Rachel Frisch (Worcester, Mass.) was stellar on the rubber in the contest, throwing a complete game to get the win. She allowed three earned runs on just four hits while striking out a career-high nine for her first win of the season. Sophomore Isabella DiOrio (Lincoln, R.I.) took the loss for the Cougars.
Worcester State will be right back in action on Wednesday, as the Lancers host another crosstown rival, WPI, to Raymond Diamond. First pitches in the doubleheader are slated for 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.