LITTLE RIVER, S.C. - Sophomore Ellery Rasmussen (Kingston, N.H.) went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs on Sunday afternoon as the Regis (Mass.) softball team picked up a season-opening 3-1 win over Hilbert College at the North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex.
With the win, the Pride improves to 1-0 on the season, while the Hawks move to 0-1.
The Pride wasted no time getting on the board early in the season opener, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After Brianna Napoleone (Medford, Mass.) worked an eight-pitch walk and Kelsey Grimard (Pelham, N.H.) singled to left to open the frame, Rasmussen stepped in and drove in the game opening run with an RBI single to right field to score Napoleone from second.
Pitcher Madi McLellan (Fremont, N.H.) was locked in from the start on the afternoon, as the sophomore struck out the side in the bottom of first. Her lone blemish came in the bottom of the second, when she allowed her only run of the game, an unearned run. With freshman Melanie Basile (Williamsville, N.Y.) on second base, senior Jenna Castricone (Medina, N.Y.) found the grass in right field to level the score at one apiece.
The score was still 1-1 in the top of the fifth when the heart of the lineup again delivered for the Pride. A lead-off single from freshman Kayla Pieta (Middletown, Conn.) got the inning started off strong with a base hit to right, and three batters later, the Pride retook the lead. With runners on second and third, Rasmussen smacked one just inside the third place bag, scoring Pieta to give the Pride a 2-1 lead. Next to the plate was senior cleanup hitter Alexa Nejaime (Sandisfield, Mass.), and the senior laid down a brilliant bunt to catch the Hawks off guard and score Grimard from third and put the Pride up 3-1, a lead they refused to squander.
The Hawks would threaten in the bottom of the seventh looking to level the game, but McLellan would merely bend, but not break. Hilbert would get runners on the corners with two outs after base hits from Morgan Grosch (Depew, N.Y.) and Samantha Shallcross (Clay, N.Y.), but McLellan induced a groundball to short to wrap up the ballgame and give the Pride its first win in the team's season opener since 2005.
Rasmussen and Grimard each finished with two hits on the afternoon to lead all players.
In the circle, McLellan earned her first win of the season with seven strikeouts, and allowing just four hits, one base on balls, and no earned runs in seven innings pitched. Rachel Allen (Tonawanda, N.Y.) got the loss for Hilbert, allowing two earned runs and striking out seven in the complete game.
The Pride will be back in action with a matchup against King's College on Monday morning at 9:30 from South Carolina.