Massasoit Softball Earns First Win With Split Vs. NHTI

BROCKTON, Mass. ---- The Massasoit Community College softball team split a doubleheader with NHTI, falling in the first game 3-2 before claiming game two, 5-2, on Sunday afternoon.

The win marked the first of the year for the Warriors (1-3) and was also the first victory for new head coach Sandy Lombardi.

Game 1: NHTI 3, Massasoit 2
NHTI scored three runs in the first two innings and held off a late charge by the Warriors, 3-2 in game one.

"I don't think we were ready to play in the first couple of innings in the first game," Lombardi said. "Even though we lost the game 3-2, I think we outplayed them five out of the seven innings. Unfortunately if you don't come to play and a team gets up on you its hard to come back."

Alex Pohl (Middleboro) finished 2-for-4 with a double and Marrissa Spivey (Brockton) added two hits and one RBI.

Leading 3-0, Massasoit loaded the bases in the fourth, but left all three runners on base. 

In the sixth, the Warriors finally broke through on consecutive RBI singles from Amanda Young (Randolph) and Spivey. But NHTI escaped yet another bases loaded jam with back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

Massasoit would put a runner on in the seventh on a single by Pohl, but that was all the home squad could muster in its last at bat.

Defensively, three NHTI runners gunned down at home plate on outfield assists by Massasoit. Felicia Pezzano (Brockton) threw out two, while Ashly Pitts (Rockland) collected the third outfield assist.

Game 2: Massasoit 5, NHTI 2
Massasoit scored all five runs in the last three innings and received a stellar pitching performance from Taylor Richards (Walpole) to claim game two and earn the doubleheader split.

Richards (1-3) earned the victory in the circle for the Warriors. The righty, who started and pitched all 14 innings on the day, went all seven innings. She scattered four hits and allowed two runs, both unearned. She showed pinpoint control, not walking a batter. She retired the side in order in three of her seven innings of work and sent the final seven NHTI batters down in order to close out the game.

"Taylor was a warrior out there for us today," Lombardi said. "She pulled something in the first game, but she is such a competitor she was not coming out. She really gutted it out for us and was a big reason we won the second game."

The game was deadlocked through the first  four innings, when Marina Palladino (Carver) clubbed a two-run single in the fifth to give Massasoit the lead.

The next half inning, NHTI pushed across two runs and looked to swing the game in its favor. However, Spivey, who was playing third base, snagged a sinking liner and tagged the bag for a doubleheader. Richards would induce a ground out to end the inning with the score tied.

In the top of the sixth, Pohl and Pezzano each knocked in runs and Massasoit added an insurance run in the seventh to earn the win.

The Warriors finished with nine hits in the game coming from eight different players. Kelly Sheehan (Stoughton) clubbed two hits, while Young and Palladino each went a perfect 1-for-1 at the plate and each drew three walks a piece.

"Offensively everyone contributed and it was a total team effort in the second game," Lombardi said. "The girls were outstanding defensively. We did have a couple of errors, but overall I thought they were great. The team looked like they had been playing together for awhile when really that was just our third and fourth games of the season."

Massasoit returns to the diamond on Tuesday, with a road game at Dean College slated for 3:30 p.m.