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Conley Shines as Softball Sweeps Western New England in Non-Conference Doubleheader

Conley Shines as Softball Sweeps Western New England in Non-Conference Doubleheader

Springfield, Mass. - April 11, 2017 - Behind an impressive day for freshman infielder Alexyss Conley (Bloomingburg, N.Y.), the nationally-ranked Springfield College softball team swept cross-town rival Western New England in a non-conference doubleheader at Potter Field on Tuesday afternoon.

The Pride won the first game, 6-5, in walk-off fashion, before besting the Golden Bears, 12-4, in game two.

With the wins, Springfield College, which was ranked No. 20 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) National Rankings, improves to 21-3 on the season. With the loss, Western New England is 14-5.

Conley went 4-for-7 at the plate in the doubleheader, and registered three RBI, including the game-winning RBI single in game one to lift the Pride to victory. In game two, the first-year shortstop went 3-for-3 including a pair of doubles in the win. As good as she was offensively, Conley was just as impressive in the field, as she had seven put outs, six assists and made no errors in 12 innings of play.

Up next, Springfield College will hit the road and take on Eastern Connecticut on Wednesday, April 12 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Springfield College 6, Western New England 5 -- Game One

Conley drove a ball through the left side of the infield with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Springfield College softball team to its 20th win of the season, a 6-5 defeat of cross-town rival Western New England at Potter Field on Tuesday afternoon.

Standout junior Talia Loda (East Haven, Conn.) got the nod for the Pride, and pitched 6.1 innings, giving up just one earned run, while Nicole Cring (Cooperstown, N.Y.) came on to complete the game, picking up her fourth win of the year.

Western New England's Paige Uliase (Meriden, Conn.) threw 5.1 frames, giving up six hits and three earned runs, while Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) came on to pitch 1.0 innings as she took the loss.

Western New England struck first with a pair of runs in the top of the second, when Kistner walked, and came around on a single from Uliase to make it 1-0. The Golden Bears pushed its lead to a pair when Danielle Flint (Kinderhook, N.Y.) singled through the left side, plating Jenn Luba (Plymouth, Conn.) to make it 2-0.

Springfield College countered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to gain a 3-2 advantage over Western New England. The Pride got the rally started when Conley drew a walk and then stole second to get in running position. After Meghan Sastram (Oxford, Conn.) grounded out to second to move Conley to third, Rachel Ball (Coventry, R.I.) dropped a bunt to put runners on first and third.

Later in the inning, Loda singled to short and beat the throw, scoring Conley from third to make it 2-1, before Carianna Gasdia (Wakefield, Mass.) stepped up and laced a ball into right, scoring Ball and Loda to give the Pride a 3-2 advantage.

Springfield College tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Conley led off the inning with a double right, before Sastram roped on into the left-center gap, plating the freshman to make it 4-2, Pride.

Western New England would put together a rally of its own in the top of the seventh inning with three runs to take a 5-4 advantage over the Pride, but Springfield College showed its grit, as Gasdia led off the bottom half with a single to left, before a double from Allie Wheeler (Agawam, Mass.) brought her around to score, evening the game at five runs apiece.

After drawing back-to-back walks, Conley stepped up and forced a full-count, before she took a 3-2 pitch into left field to score Wheeler, providing Springfield College with its 20th victory of the season.

Springfield College 12, Western New England 4 -- Game Two

Conley went 3-for-3 at the plate and had two RBI, while Loda went 3-for-4 with three RBI as the Pride completed the sweep of Western New England with a 12-4 victory in game two of Tuesday's doubleheader.

Sophomore pitcher Shelby Allen (Oakland, N.J.) registered her sixth win of the season, pitching 5.0 innings while striking out four. For the Golden Bears, Emily Cramer (Stoughton, Mass.) took the loss as she went for 1.2 innings and gave up six runs.

Western New England got on the board in the top of the first inning when Gabby Lavinio (Dalton, Mass.) drew a walk, before Kistner blasted her first home run of the year over the center-field fence to give the Golden Bears a 2-0 lead.

Springfield College would counter in the top of the bottom of the second inning when Gabby Alfieri (Cornwall, N.Y.) and Sam Cox (Longmeadow, Mass.) got on base with one out before Brianna Weltlich (Russell, Mass.) drew a walk to load the bases. From there, Conley laced another single through the left side, scoring Alfieri and Cox before Loda poked one into right field, scoring Weltlich and Conley to make it 4-2.

Later in the inning, Drobiak roped a double off the right-center fence, which scored Loda from first base to make it 5-2, before Wheeler stepped up and drilled a ball over the left-center fence to push the Pride's lead to five.

Springfield College scored four more runs in the bottom of the fourth, sparked by an RBI triple off the bat of Loda and followed by an RBI single from Gasdia to make it 9-2, before Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.) drove in a pair with a triple to left center. 

The Golden Bears rallied for two runs in the top half of the fifth, including RBI singles from Kirstner and Luba to make it 11-4, but Gasdia closed the game on a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Conley to seal the win.