E. Connecticut State rolls to victory
Rathburn fires no-hitter to lead Warriors to win in opener
Providence, R.I. -- Eastern Connecticut defeated Husson, 7-0, in game one at the Providence Regional of the 2011 NCAA Championships played at Rhode Island College’s Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex.
The Warriors (31-4) advance to play the winner of Worcester State vs. Rhode Island College on Friday, May 13 (2 p.m.). The Hawks (25-17) will face the loser of the Lancers and Anchorwomen game tomorrow morning (10 a.m.) in an elimination contest.
Eastern junior pitcher Molly Rathbun, the two-time Little East Conference Pitcher of the Year, was brilliant with a complete game no-hitter to stay undefeated (20-0) on the season. She logged 16 strikeouts and allowed only three Hawks to reach base on two walks and an error all day.
Eastern Connecticut jumped on Husson right away in the bottom of the first inning as freshman shortstop Megan Godwin hammered a one-out homer over the left field fence. Rathbun followed with a line drive shot that wrapped around the left field foul pole for her eighth longball of the year. The quick, 2-0, deficit chased Husson freshman starter Kelly Naegelin from the game, as Head Coach Amanda Davey turned to freshman Rebecca McCarty. McCarty surrendered a walk and a hit, but was able to get the final two outs and get out of the inning.
Eastern put the game away in the bottom of the second, as the Warriors brought across five runs. Sophomore first baseman Kelly Paterson singled to left field and junior center fielder Rosie Manzo followed with a single to right. Junior right fielder Priscilla Alicea executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up and Rathbun was issued a walk to load the bases.
Sophomore third baseman Arielle Cooper then worked an RBI walk and Manzo scored on a wild pitch. Senior designated player Rachel Soychak followed with a walk, which forced Husson to bring on sophomore Kody Lyon to pitch. Rathbun promptly came home on another wild pitch. Freshman left fielder Stephanie Johnson brought in Cooper with an RBI single to shortstop, then intentionally got caught in a rundown to allow Soychak to score and end the day’s offensive output.
Naegelin took the loss (6-5) for Husson. Johnson was the lone Warrior to pick up multiple hits on the day, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. In addition to her outstanding pitching performance, Rathbun went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI on her homer.