NASHUA, N.H. – A powerful offensive punch paired with stellar performances in the circle by Vanessa Valenti (Woodstock, Conn.) and Maggie Doyle (Kingston, Mass.) helped Wheelock to a pair of five-inning victories over Pine Manor on a snowy Wednesday afternoon at Rivier's Raider Field.
After being swept, the Gators fall to 0-6 on the season while the Wildcats move to 2-2 with their first wins of the season.
Molly Rose (Weymouth, Mass.) had a big game for the Wildcats in game one going 2-for-3 with a double and a homerun and three RBI. Rose was instrumental in getting the guests the early lead when she cleared the left field fence as the fourth batter of the game. Her two-run shot contributed two of the six runs Wheelock would score in the first.
After her team gave her the lead, Valenti went to work silencing the Gators' bats. She gave up a double to the second batter she faced, Ashley Whiteshield (Seward, Alaska), but settled in to get out of the inning and strand Whiteshield on second.
The sophomore hurler had an excellent afternoon allowing just three hits while striking out seven and walking only one to earn her first win of the year.
The Wildcats followed up their six-run first with six more in the second including a two-run double by freshman Rachael Simpson (Littleton, Mass.).
Pine Manor starter Anastasia Walker (West Springfield, Mass.) held Wheelock scoreless in the third before she was relieved by Chardonai Rose (Fairfield, Calif.). Wheelock managed just one run against Rose as the Gators fell 13-0.
The Wildcats' bats kept ringing in game two as they scored 16 runs on 16 hits, including a four-hit, three RBI performance by Kiersten Cosgrove (Pequannock, N.J.).
Cosgrove did most of her damage in the first when she homered and tripled to drive in three runs. Those hits were part of a nine-run first for the Wildcats.
Doyle, Wheelock's game two's starter, picked up right where her teammate left off pitching a 1-2-3 first.
However, Pine Manor was able to have bit more success against the Kingston-native. They managed seven hits in game two including multi-hit games from Cathryn White (Douglas, Mass.) and Emily Converse (Milford, Mass.). Converse doubled in the fifth to drive in Walker for the Gators' only run on the afternoon as they fell 16-1.
Pine Manor is scheduled to play the first game of the year at Pine Manor Softball Field on Saturday. They will take on GSAC rival Maine-Presque Isle for a two-game set starting at 11 a.m.
Wheelock's next test come tomorrow when they will be the "home" team at Wentworth as they take on the Leopards in a doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m.
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