Pair of grand slams power SVC softball to win


BENNINGTON -- Playing against a team that hadn't seen the sixth inning of a softball game all year, the Southern Vermont College team made sure Wheelock did not see the sixth on Saturday, smashing Wildcats 22-0 in game one of a doubleheader before rolling to a 13-0 win in game two at Willow Park.

"That's what we have been working on all season, making sure we are coming out hard every day no matter who we are playing," said SVC coach Alyssa Davis. "Our real goal this year is to turn heads and make people see who we really are as a team and what we can do."

The Mountaineers showed off their bats early in game one of the series. After SVC pitcher Emily Fleming put the Wheelock order down in three batters in the top of first, her team spotted her six runs in the bottom of the inning.

In the half-inning, freshman Mallory Celeste started the scoring with a pair of RBI on a double, with junior Brianne Nichols pushing across a run of her own in the next at-bat. Senior Kristin Buchan reached on a fielder's choice to allow the fourth run to come in, the fifth came in on an error and sophomore Rachel Robtoy took a pitch from Erin Rice to the side to bring across a run with the bases loaded.

Wheelock put runners on first and second in the second, but Fleming settled down and got Rebecca Biancardi swinging for a strikeout and followed up by forcing a groundout to get out of the inning.

"[Fleming] is a strong ace pitcher for us, she comes in every day working her hardest and she put it away," Davis said. "When it comes down to it, she is the one who held everyone off."

In the bottom half of the second, SVC scored six more runs.

Junior Shelby Jones got things started by launching a solo home run to start off the inning, then Fleming hit a grand slam to make it 11-0. An RBI infield single by Jones capped off the scoring in the second.

In the third inning, SVC put seven runs on the board with a pair of RBIs by Fleming on a single, another RBI by freshman Lauryn Zovistoski and the team's second grand slam, this time by Jones, to make it 19-0.

"I've never really been a huge power hitter, so I've never had the opportunity to hit a home run before," Jones said of her day at the plate. "So it was nice to be able to hit two in this game."

For Davis, Jones' contributions were the result of Jones working harder to make contact.

"We've been waiting for her to come through since she was a freshman," Davis said. "Last year, she got caught up in a lot of ground rule doubles that bounced over the fence. I handed her a ball at the end of last season and told her she is never going to do it again. She hasn't, and then she put two over the fence today."

The Mountaineers scored their final three runs in the fourth inning, with Robtoy, Zovistoski and Jones all bringing a runner across on singles.

Fleming allowed five hits and no walks while striking out four in the win. Rice took the loss for Wheelock.

In game two of the doubleheader, the SVC bats continued to pound away as the Mountaineers hit six home runs to take a 13-0 win. Zovistoski and Fleming each had a pair, while Celeste and junior Hayley McDonald each added their own home runs. McDonald also picked up the win, giving up six hits and no walks.

SVC moves to 8-14 on the year, and 6-4 in the New England Collegiate Conference. Wheelock falls to 0-19, 0-13. SVC returns to action on Tuesday with a doubleheader at Elms College. SVC currently sits fourth in the conference.


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