Western stays alive in LEC Tourney with 2-1 win over UMass Boston

Box Score vs. Keene State
Box Score vs. UMass Boston

MANSFIELD, CT (May 3) — Senior Daniel Basciano (Holmes, NY) homered to left with two out in the bottom of the third inning to keep the Western Connecticut State University softball team alive in the Little East Conference Tournament with a 2-1 victory over UMass Boston Thursday evening at the newly constructed Eastern Connecticut State University softball complex.

In Western's first game of the day, the Colonials dropped a 3-1 decision to Keene State, with Basciano scoring Western's only run of the game in the top of the first inning. With the loss, Western moves into the losers-bracket of the double-elimination tournament and faces elimination with its next loss.

From the desk of Bob Molta - Eastern Connecticut SID

Western vs. Keene State

Senior righty Emily Albin (Bethel, Conn.) pitched a complete-game four-hitter and walked only one to lead second-seeded Keene State College to a 3-1 victory over fifth-seeded Western Connecticut State University Thursday afternoon in the second game of the 2012 Little East Conference Softball Championship Thursday afternoon at the Eastern Softball Field.

A winner of eight of its last nine, Keene (24-8-1)  moves into a winners’ bracket game Friday at 2 p.m. while Western Connecticut (27-14) was scheduled to play an elimination game later Thursday against sixth-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston. The Beacons dropped an opening 9-0 decision to No. 1 seed Eastern Connecticut.

Keene defeated Western for the third time this season and has defeated the Colonials the last four times the teams have met in the tournament. Western had won its last six entering the game and nine of its last 11, its only two losses in that stretch to Eastern Connecticut.

Albin threw six shutout innings after surrendering a leadoff double to senior two-time LEC Player-of-the-Year Danielle Basciano  (Holmes, N.Y.) and an infield ground ball by senior No. 3 hitter Jackie Zilnicki  (Riverhead, N.Y.) that gave the Colonials their only lead of the game. Albin never gave up more than one hit in an inning and fanned four.

After Keene tied the game  on senior leadoff hitter Haley Chandler’s (Wakefield, Mass.) team-leading seventh home run of the game leading off the bottom of the first, the Owls scored the tie-breaking runs in the third  on four hits and a walk off Western complete-game loser Magen Dargon (Trumbull, Conn.), a senior righty. One-out singles by senior Katie Bradford (West Lebanon, N.H .), senior Laura Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) and freshman Samantha Nitso (Londonderry, N.H.)  loaded the bases before Dargon walked in what proved to be the game-winning run on a walk to junior Nicole Dupuis (Fitchburg, Mass.) and junior Kayla Joyce’s (Bridgewater, Mass.) opposite field single.

Haley Chandler and Joyce each had two of Keene’s eight hits. Western’s Basciano reached safely three times with her game-opening double, a walk and also an outfield error.

Keene State College 3, Western Connecticut 1
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Western Connecticut. 100 000 0 - 1 4 1 (27-14)
Keene State College. 102 000 X - 3 8 1 (24-8-1)
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Pitchers: Western Connecticut - Magen Dargon. Keene State College - Albin.
Win-Albin(11-3) Loss-Magen Dargon(18-8) T-1:31 A-100

Western Connecticut 2, UMass Boston 1
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UMass Boston........ 100 000 0 - 1 6 2 (17-21)
Western Connecticut. 101 000 X - 2 6 0 (28-14)
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Pitchers: UMass Boston - M. Zullo. Western Connecticut - Magen Dargon.
Win-Magen Dargon(19-8) Loss-M. Zullo(10-10) T-1:14 A-85