BANGOR, Maine – The Thomas College softball team opened the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament with back-to-back victories to advance to the Championship Round. The Terriers defeated No. 2 Castleton and No. 1 Husson, 5-1 and 5-3, to earn the spot.
Thomas 5, Castleton 1
Courtesy of Castleton Sports Information
Sara Baker and Timi Carone had the only hits of the game for the Spartans, as the team's bats were stymied by the Terriers' Sydney LeBourveau (Jericho, Vt.). Taylor Paquette shouldered the loss, tossing four innings and allowing four runs on seven hits with three strikeouts. Kayla Wood tossed three innings of relief, allowing one unearned run on two hits and no walks.
LeBourveau picked up her eighth win of the season, going the distance and allowing just two hits and two walks with one earned run. She struck out four. Four different Terriers had two hits in the contest, with LeBourveau driving in a pair of runs on a double. Lexi Colpack (Franklin, N.H.) and Courtney Veilleux (Sidney, Maine) each scored twice.
Thomas jumped out to an early lead, putting up a pair of runs in the first inning. Colpack led off the game with a base hit up the middle before stealing second to move into scoring position. A base hit by Veilleux off the glove of Paquette moved Colpack to third, before she came in to score on a throwing error when Veilleux stole second base. Veilleux moved to third base on a ground out, before a squeeze bunt by Madison Bentz (Algonquin, Ill.) brought her home. Paquette got out of the inning with minimal damage, giving the Spartans a chance to get runs back in the home half of the inning.
Carone stroked a two-strike single down the left field line, and advanced to second when the left fielder had trouble corralling the ball. Baker walked to put two runners on, before a groundout advanced both runners into scoring position. Tori Swaine sent a one-out sacrifice fly into left field, driving in Carone to cut the gap in half, 2-1. The Spartans couldn't manage any more in the home half of the inning, but Paquette settled in—tossing three consecutive scoreless innings to keep the gap at just one run.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Terriers pushed three more runs across behind the strength of three hits and an error, taking a 5-1 lead. Colpack led off with a base knock to shortstop, before Veilleux singled off Paquette's leg, ending her day and bringing Kayla Wood into the contest. The first batter Wood faced laid down a sacrifice but, but a Spartan miscue allowed her to reach base, and allowed Colpack to score from second to make it a 3-1 game. Another bunt allowed two runners to move into scoring position, before LeBourveau cranked a two-run double into the gap in left center to push the lead to four runs, 5-1.
Castleton couldn't crack LeBourveau in the circle after the first inning, as the sophomore set down 15 batters in a row before Baker collected a one-out base hit in the sixth inning. A fielder's choice and a flyout ended the inning, sending it to the last frame with the Spartans trailing by four runs. Both sides went scoreless in the seventh frame, ending the game with a 5-1 final.
Thomas out-hit the Spartans 9-2 on the day, while Castleton tied its single-game high of three errors to Thomas's one.
Thomas 5, Husson 3
Courtesy of Husson Sports Information
The Eagles wasted little time scoring the game's first run. In the top of the 1st inning, Chloe Gorey singled up the middle. Olivia Smith, Husson's three hitter, followed with a double to deep left. Arika Brochu lined a ball that was bobbled by the Thomas third baseman. Gorey scored on the error, giving her squad a 1-0 lead after the 1st.
Husson added a second run in the top of the 4th. With two outs, Nicole Andrade walked. Casey Lopes followed with a walk off her own. Brianna Bires singled to center and drove home Andrade. The 2-0 lead was short lived.
Thomas scored two runs in the bottom of the 4th and tied the game at 2-2. Bentz singled to right with one out. LeBourveau reached on an error by the Eagles' second baseman. Bentz advanced to second on the error. Kayla Bess (Madison, Maine) laid down a sacrifice bunt, which advanced each baserunner. The sacrifice worked to perfection. Lauren Farina (Schenectady, N.Y.) doubled down the right field line scoring both Bentz and LeBourveau. The game was tied 2-2 after the 4th inning.
Katie Taylor (Lebanon, Maine) and the Thomas softball team took the lead in the bottom of the 5th inning. Taylor worked a walked to start the inning. She would advance to second on a ground out. Korrie Laren (Blackstone, Mass.) reached on a fielding error by Husson's first baseman. Taylor scored on the fielding error and gave Thomas their first lead of the game.
The Terriers added two insurance runs in the bottom of the 6th inning. LeBourveau doubled to start the rally. With one out, Farina smacked a double of her own. LeBourveau crossed home on the double. Cassie Contigiani (Belmont, N.H.) singled and advanced Farina to third. Farina scored on a Taylor ground out. Thomas held a 5-2 lead after the 6th inning.
Brianna Brochu crushed a triple to lead off the top of the 7th inning. She scored two pitches later on a wild pitch cutting the score to 5-3. It was the only run they scored in the inning. Thomas held onto the 5-3 lead and advanced tomorrow's, May 6th, 2:00 p.m. NAC championship game.
LeBourveau went 7.0 innings for the complete game win. She allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out three. Farina led the way offensively with two hits and three RBI. Taylor had the other RBI.
Brochu went 4.2 innings and gave up three runs (0 earned) while striking out two. Jen Jones went the other 1.1 innings. She gave up two runs and also struck out two. Brianna Bires had the lone Eagles' RBI. Chloe Gorey scored a run and had two hits in the loss, while Olive Smith and Bri Brochu had a hit apiece.
The Terriers will take on the winner of Castleton and Husson for the NAC Championship at 3:00 p.m.