Gators Drop Heartbreaker to Rivier in GNAC First-Round

Box Score

Nashua, NH – Rivier scored three unearned runs in the fifth inning to rally from an early deficit and defeat Pine Manor, 4-2, in the First Round of the 2011 Great Northeast Athletic Conference Playoffs on Wednesday April 27 in Nashua, NH. With the loss Pine Manor finishes its 2011 season at 10-22.

The Gators took an early lead in the contest, Despite leaving the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, the Gators managed to grab a 1-0 advantage in the top of the third inning. With one out, senior Michelle Campbell (Baltimore, MD/Seton Keough) delivered the first of her three base-hits in the game, hitting a single to centerfield. Campbell then advanced to second on a wild pitch. With Campbell on second, junior Kayla Nielsen (Saco, ME/Thornton Academy) lined a single into left to give the Gators runners on the corners with one away.

The Gators then executed a textbook double-steal as Nielsen took off for second, drawing the throw from Rivier catcher Amanda Ryan (W. Bridgewater, MA/W. Bridgewater). With the ball headed for second, Campbell took off for home, sliding in just in time to beat the return throw to the plate.

However, Rivier would respond in the bottom of the inning. After PMC starter Tara Doehler sat down the first two batters of the inning, Rivier leadoff hitter Nicole Peacock (Warwick, RI/Prout) hit a line drive over the right centerfield fence to tie the game. Unfazed, Doehler would then record the final out of the inning when she got Rivier shortstop Catherine Roy (Dracut, MA/Dracut) to pop up to short.

The teams would both go quietly in the fourth, as the game moved into the fifth inning with the score tied 1-1. The Gators were unable to score another run in the top of the fifth, despite back-to-back singles from senior Jess Kennedy (Lakeville, MA/Apponequet) and Campbell, stranding both runners in the inning.

Rivier freshman Britnii Dyer (Douglas, MA/Douglas led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, bringing sophomore Nadjeska Reynolds (Hamden,CT/Hamden) to the plate with one on an no one out. Reynolds, who had entered the game in relief of Rivier starter Hillary Tarr (North Easton, MA/Cardinal Spellman) in the top half of the inning, then laid down a sacrifice bunt on the third base side.

With Dyer headed to second, PMC third baseman Macayla Kirylo (Pawtucket, RI/William E. Tolman Senior) fielded the ball and fired it to first base. However, an errant throw from Kirylo eluded Gator first baseman Kaylyn Delgado (Worcester, MA/Bartlett) and the ball went into foul territory in right field, allowing both runners to score on the play. Rivier would then tack on another run, thanks to an RBI double from sophomore Marissa Mercier (N. Smithfield, RI/N. Smithfield), to end the inning with a 4-1 advantage.

With neither team able to score in the sixth, the Gators got one last chance in the top of the seventh inning. Reynolds quickly retired the first two batters of the inning, putting the Gators down to their final out. Kennedy then worked a walked to give the Gators a base runner before Campbell delivered an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-2.

With Campbell now on second after the throw to the plate, Nielsen stepped into the box with chance to extend the rally. However, Reynolds won a great battle between the two players finally earning the strike out and ending the game, 4-2 in favor of Rivier

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