Softball drops a pair of games in Florida to open season

Sophomore Caroline Bass went 2-6 with a run scored, a walk and two stolen bases over the course of two games on Sunday, March 3, 2019. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Bates softball team dropped a pair of games Sunday to begin its season, losing a 5-4 heartbreaker to Eastern Nazarene and falling 3-0 to Defiance later in the day. 

Bates (0-2) looks to bounce back Monday when the Bobcats take on Otterbein and DeSales, with first pitch of the Otterbein game set for 9am. 

Eastern Nazarene 5, Bates 4

The Bobcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning only to see the Lions score four in the second and one in the seventh to edge Bates 5-4 Sunday morning.

Sophomore Caroline Bass (Newton, Mass.) drew a walk to start the top of the first against Eastern Nazarene starter Dominique Santos. Bass stole second base and first-year Kennedy Ishii (Honolulu, Hawaii) bunted her to third. First-year Janell Sato (Honolulu, Hawaii) and junior Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) followed with back-to-back RBI doubles, putting Bates up 2-0. Senior Andrea Russo (Cheshire, Conn.) singled in Panepinto to extend the lead to 3-0.

The Lions jumped ahead by a run with four tallies in the bottom of the second. With two outs, back-to-back walks put runners on first and second. Then Rebecca Hayner, Jenessa Huerta, and Rebecca Ashman notched back-to-back-to-back RBI singles to knot the contest at 3-3. A Bates error extended the inning and Kiley Ozaki drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in Huerta for the go-ahead score.

Bates pulled even at 4-4 with a run in the sixth. Russo singled to start the frame and sophomore Mary Collette (Watertown, Conn.) bunted her to second. First-year Aleah Pagan (Orinda, Calif.) roped a one-out double to centerfield to drive in Russo.

Eastern Nazarene won the game with an unearned run in the home half of the seventh inning. With two outs, Santos drew a walk. Ozsaki reached on an error and pinch runner Tylan Onorato rounded third and scored when Lauren Clements reached on an error.

Santos pitched 5.1 innings and fanned two batters. Elizabeth Schaffer (3-0) tossed the final 1.2 innings and struck out three to earn the win.

Junior Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) pitched a complete game for Bates. She gave up five runs but only three were earned. Pelletier (0-1) walked four and struck out two.  

Defiance 3, Bates 0

Rachel Wehrman held Bates to a pair of hits and a pair of walks, tossing a complete game shutout to lead Defiance to a 3-0 win over the Bobcats Sunday afternoon. 

Sophomore Payton Buxton (Middlebury, Vt.) pitched well for Bates, going the distance while giving up three runs, two of which were earned. She walked one and struck out one.

Neither team got a runner on base until the third inning. Defiance (2-2) got on the board in the top of the third. Kalin Hubble singled to start the frame. A sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and a walk put runners at the corner. Emma Perry squeezed in the first run of the game, putting Defiance up 1-0.

A single, an error and a wild pitch led to Defiance's second run of the game in the fourth. And Perry doubled in a run in the fifth to make the score 3-0.

The Bobcats' best chance to score came in the seventh. Bass led off with a single. Ishii reached on an error and Bass advanced to third. But a ground out, a foul out and another ground out ended the game.