Grieger Shuts Out Wesleyan in Opener as Golden Bears Earn Doubleheader Split

Grieger Shuts Out Wesleyan in Opener as Golden Bears Earn Doubleheader Split
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (April 19, 2016) - The Western New England University softball team split a pair of non-conference contests at Wesleyan University this afternoon. The Golden Bears defeated the Cardinals, 2-0, in the opener behind a complete-game shutout effort from senior pitcher Heidi Grieger (Hyde Park, N.Y.), before falling 7-6 in game two.
 
Western New England 2, Wesleyan 0
Single runs in the first and third innings were enough to get the Golden Bears past Wesleyan in game one, as Grieger turned in her second shutout of the season. The senior scattered seven hits over seven innings, striking out one batter and walking two to improve to 12-5 this spring. 
 
Junior Gabby Lavinio (Dalton, Mass.) accounted for two of Western New England's three hits and scored both of the team's runs, while senior Heather Fecteau (Biddeford, Maine) recorded the Golden Bears' lone RBI.
 
Lavinio led off the top of the first with a double, before advancing to third on a sacrifice and coming in to score when senior McKenzie Pezze (Albany, N.Y.) reached with the help of a Wesleyan error.
 
The Golden Bears then doubled their advantage in the third, as Lavinio got it started again with a leadoff single, and Fecteau came through later in the frame with a two-out RBI single to right field.
 
Wesleyan had its best chance to score in the sixth, with runners on first and second and just one out, but Western New England escaped the situation as Grieger retired the next two batters.
 
Junior Isabel Linzer (Arlington, Va.) led the Cardinals with two hits, while senior Angelina Massoia (Feeding Hills, Mass.) reached base twice with a walk and a single.
 
Senior Su Pardo (Malverne, N.Y.) took the loss for Wesleyan despite a strong outing in which she gave up just three hits and struck out five batters.
 
Wesleyan 7, Western New England 6
The Cardinals were able to salvage a split by taking game two, which was a back-and-forth contest that saw Wesleyan walk off with the win following a seventh-inning rally.
 
After a pair of scoreless frames, Western New England took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a two-run homer by Fecteau. The Golden Bears used the long ball again the next inning to add another run to their advantage, as senior Alexis Bukowski (Wallingford, Conn.) sent a solo shot over the center field fence.
 
Wesleyan finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth, tying the game with three runs on three hits. Pardo worked a leadoff walk before coming in to score on an RBI single by sophomore Julie McDonald (Commack, N.Y.), and senior Mollie Grunat (Ridgewood, N.J.) followed two batters later with a single to center field, plating a pair of Cardinals.
 
The home team then pulled ahead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth, and maintained its 5-3 lead until the top of the seventh.

Sophomore Lindsay Williams (Coventry, Conn.) led off Western New England's half of the seventh with a single, and Grieger followed two batters later with a double to right center. After the next batter was retired, bringing the Golden Bears to within one out of defeat, Pezze came through with a clutch, three-run homer to put Western New England back ahead, 6-5.
 
Wesleyan would put together one final rally, however, walking off with the win on McDonald's two-run single to left field in the bottom of the seventh. 
 
Western New England (19-13, 12-2 CCC) will be off until Saturday, when the Golden Bears host Wentworth for a senior day doubleheader at noon. Wesleyan (19-11) remains at home to take on the University of St. Joseph (Conn.) on Thursday.