NASHUA, N.H. – No. 3 Daniel Webster College overcame a 10-5 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning and trailing by two runs to defeat No. 6 Regis College, 11-10, in the New England Collegiate Conference Softball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Eagle Field. Regis wraps up its season at 8-24 overall.
Freshman Sara Durocher (Keene, N.H.) dropped a blooping 1-1 pitch into shallow center allowing senior Amy Waller (Berlin, Mass.) to score from third as the Eagles (21-17) advanced to the NECC final four double elimination tournament that runs Friday through Sunday at Wellesley College with top-seeded Lesley as tournament host.
The Eagles will face second-seeded Mitchell on Friday at Noon. Fourth-seeded Elms will take on top-seeded Lesley at 10:00 a.m.
DWC was justifiably left for dead entering the final frame. While the Eagle top four in the order – Waller, Durocher, Lauren Chesnulevich (Hudson, N.H.) and Chelsey Crawford (Westfield, Mass.) had combined to go 9 for 15 over the first six innings, the next five in the order had combined to go 0 for 15.
But in the seventh, three of the bottom five delivered when it mattered most as part of an improbable seven-hit rally. Chesnulevich started things off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a Crawford single for a 10-6 game. After a fly out, Heather Strong (Palmer, Mass.) notched her first hit, putting runners at the corners.
After Amanda Wilson (Merrimack, N.H.) flew to right for the second out, Courtney Brennan (Beverly, Mass.) followed with a two-run single to left, making it 10-8. Lexie Fontaine (Plymouth, Mass.) then sent a single up the middle scoring Brennan from second to make it 10-9.
Waller, who was monstrous throughout finishing 5-for-5 with a double to that point, delivered by hitting a 1-1 delivery to deep left center sending Fontaine all the way around with the tying run and Durocher followed with her blooper to cap the comeback.
Durocher (11-8) would pick up the win in relief of the starter Wilson, allowing two earned runs over the final two innings on four hits.
Chesnulevich equaled Waller's clutch hitting, going 4-for-4 with a triple, scoring twice and knocking in two. Durocher was 2-for-5 knocking in two, and Crawford finished 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI.
The teams traded runs in the first inning and Regis scored three in the top of the third keyed by a Katie Blackburn (Milford, Mass.) RBI single and a two-run double from Daniels.
Waller singled to lead off the third, scored on Chesnulevich's triple, and Crawford tripled to score Chesnulevich for a 4-3 game in the bottom of the third.
A Langone two-run double and a Samantha Bliss (Framingham, Mass.) sac fly to score Porteus in the fifth made it 7-3 and DWC tacked on two in the bottom the frame on a Chesnulevich run-scoring single and a Strong ground out to plate Durocher for a 7-5 game.
Regis looked to be in command after sending eight to the plate in a three-run sixth that included back-to-back RBI singles from Porteus and Langone, before the Eagle rally that ended the game.
Release courtesy of Daniel Webster College Sports Information