Pelletier breaks career strikeouts record, softball splits with Trinity and Bowdoin

The Bates softball team honored its lone senior Andrea Russo and then split its NESCAC East doubleheader today on Lafayette Street Field defeating Trinity (Conn.) 5-4 in nine innings and falling to Bowdoin 5-1 in eight innings on April 28, 2019. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

LEWISTON, Maine—The Bates College softball team split its NESCAC East doubleheader today on Lafayette Street Field with both games needing extra innings. A walk off single by first-year Janell Sato (Honolulu, Hawaii) clinched a 5-4 nine-inning victory for the Bobcats over Trinity (Conn.) to start the day. Bowdoin scored four runs in the top of the eighth to clinch a 5-1 win in Bates' second game.

In game one, junior Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) struck out eight batters and broke the Bates career strikeouts record. Her career strikeouts total now stands at 340. Pelletier surpassed the previous mark of 335 set by Kelsey Freedman '15.

The Bobcats (14-20, 5-7 NESCAC East) will play their final regular season game on Wednesday, May 1, at Maine-Farmington at 3:30 p.m.

Bates has secured a spot in the 2019 NESCAC Tournament for the second year in a row. All tournament games will be played at Tufts, the No. 1 seed in the East Division. The Bobcats are the No. 4 seed from the East Division and will face No. 1 seed from the West Division, Williams, on Friday, May 3 at 5 p.m.

Game One: Bates 5, Trinity (Conn.) 4

After celebrating lone senior Andrea Russo (Cheshire, Conn.), Bates earned a 5-4 nine-inning NESCAC East victory over visiting Trinity (Conn.). First-year Janell Sato's (Honolulu, Hawaii) walk off single up the middle drove in first-year Kennedy Ishii (Honolulu, Hawaii) to clinch the win for the Bobcats.

Pelletier pitched all nine innings and improved her season record to 11-11. She allowed six hits, struck out eight batters, and walked just two. All four of Trinity's runs were unearned.

Jordan Stephan took the loss for Trinity (17-13, 7-5 NESCAC East). She is now 6-6 this season. Stephan pitched 7.2 innings, allowing three runs on 12 hits and struck out four.

Bates jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. First-year Aleah Pagan (Orinda, Calif.) doubled up the middle, and Sato followed with her third home run of the season.

Nicole Towner scored in the top of the second to put the Bantams on the scoreboard. Towner got on with a walk, and Alex Chambers reached first on an error. With two outs, Maura Keary doubled to left center to score Towner. Trinity then tied the game up at 2-2 in the top of the fourth. Chambers was hit by a pitch, and Gillian Birk followed with a single down the left field line. Keary got on base by a fielder's choice, advancing Chambers to third base. Schiff reached on an error, scoring Chambers.

The Bobcats took back the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Pagan got up to bat with two outs and homered over the left field fence to give Bates a 3-2 advantage. It was Pagan's first career homerun. The Bobcats built a 4-2 lead with another run in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Mary Collette (Watertown, Conn.) led off the inning with a double to center field. Sophomore Erin Murphy (North Andover, Mass.) came in to pinch run for Collette. Murphy advanced to third on a wild pitch and then was able to score on another wild pitch.

The Bantams were able to tie things up at 4-4, scoring two runs in the top of the seventh. Samantha Witmer led off with a double up the middle. Schiff followed with a single to short. Courtney Erickson was then hit by a pitch, advancing the runners. Hannah Zukowski hit the ball to short. Ishii threw home to get the lead runner, but missed her target, allowing both Witmer and then Schiff to score, sending the game to extra innings.

Neither team could get the game winner in the eighth, and the Bobcats kept the Bantams off the board in the top of the ninth. Ishii singled to start off the inning. After sophomore Caroline Bass (Newton, Mass.) was called out for leaving the box, Pagan laid down a perfectly placed bunt to get to first and advance the runner. Sato then drilled a single up the middle, scoring Ishii for the win.

Pagan led the Bates offense going 4-for-5, scoring two runs and earning an RBI. Sato finished 3-for-5, scoring a run and earning three RBIs. Witmer led Trinity going 3-for-4 with a double, and scoring one run. Zukowski logged two RBIs for the Bantams.

Game Two: Bowdoin 5, Bates 1

Bates took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Bowdoin responded tying the game up in the fifth, and it was the Polar Bears who put together four runs in the top of the eighth to secure the NESCAC East victory this afternoon in game two on Lafayette Street Field.

Ruby Siltanen earned the win for Bowdoin (26-10, 8-4 NESCAC East), improving to 11-2 this season. She pitched all eight innings, allowing seven hits and striking out five batters. The Bobcats' lone run was unearned. Sophomore Payton Buxton (Middlebury, Vt.) took the loss for Bates. She also pitched all eight innings, allowing five runs, four earned, on 14 hits.

The Bobcats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Bass hit the ball to third, but Maddie Rouhana overthrew Caroline Rice at first. Bass then stole second. Sato singled up the middle, driving in Bass.

The Polar Bears tied things up in the top of the fifth. Caroline Sablone led off with a double that bounced off the top of the left field fence. She was able to get to third on a wild pitch. Katelyn Cox drilled a single up the middle, driving in Sablone.

The sixth and the seventh innings proved scoreless, sending game two to extra innings. Rice led off the eighth inning with a single and got to second on a passed ball. Rice advanced to third on a fly out to right by Samantha Valdivia. Rutz hit a single to third, and Siltanen followed with a double that scored both Rice and Rutz. Sablone reached first on an error by the center fielder, and Siltanen scored on the play. Cox then singled up the middle, driving in Sablone to make it 5-1. Bates was unable to put anything together for a comeback in the bottom of the eighth.

Allison Rutz and Katelyn Cox went 3-for-4 for Bowdoin. Rutz scored one run. Siltanen led the Polar Bears with two RBIs and scored one run.

Both Bass and Sato went 2-for-4 for Bates. Bass scored Bates' run, and Sato earned the RBI.