Softball edges Plymouth State in 2014 opener
The Hamilton College Continentals opened 2014 with a 3-2 non-conference win against the Plymouth State University Vikings in Clermont, Fla., on March 18. The victory made head coach Patricia Cipicchio a winner in her collegiate debut.
The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m. but Monday’s heavy rains pushed the start time back to 9 p.m. Another non-conference contest against Ramapo College scheduled for Tuesday was canceled.
Kelly Leonard ’15 scattered six hits in seven innings and picked up the win in head coach Patricia Cipicchio's first game at Hamilton. Leonard allowed one unearned run and struck out six without walking a batter. Sam Miller ’14 and Ellie Kiernan ’15 had two hits and one RBI apiece. Monique St. Jarre ’15 and Talia Mercado ’15 added a hit.
Hamilton jumped on the board with two runs in the second inning. Leonard drew a walk and was pushed across the plate on a two-out single by Kiernan. Hannah Staab ‘17 followed with a fly ball to short right field that was misplayed by the second baseman and allowed Kiernan to score.
The Panthers (0-2 overall) chipped away at Hamilton’s lead with one run in the third inning. Morgan Wilson led off with a single and moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt. After Rebekah Jackson popped out to second, Wilson scored on an infield error.
In the fifth inning, the Continentals padded their lead with another run. Kiernan led off with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Staab and moved over to third on another bunt by Jenn Rougeux ’14. Olivia Gozdz ’16 drew a walk -- her third of the night -- and Miller’s two-out shot to left field plated Kiernan.
Plymouth State pulled within a run in the bottom of the sixth off relief pitcher Megan Ahern ’17. With a runner on second and no outs, Leonard returned to the circle and retired the next three batters.
Hamilton takes on Babson College at 11 a.m., Western Connecticut State University at 1 p.m. and closes out a busy Wednesday in Florida against nationally ranked No. 2 Tufts University at 9 p.m.