Program Records Fall, Nighthawks Sweep Mountaineers

Program Records Fall, Nighthawks Sweep Mountaineers

BENNINGTON, Vt. - Saturday's doubleheader between the Nighthawks and Southern Vermont Mountaineers featured the highest producing offensive output in Nighthawks program history as the offense was on fire for a sweep of Southern Vermont.

Game One: Newbury 24 - Southern Vt. 0 (Final - 5 innings)

It was all offense in the opening game of the doubleheader, as the Nighthawks set a new program record for runs scored in a game with 24, shutting out the Mountaineers in the process. The 24-0 margin of victory is also a program-record as the Nighthawks took the first game from the Mountaineers at Willow Park in New England Collegiate Conference play.

Nighthawks sophomore Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.) batted 2-for-2, both home runs, tying a program mark. Sass also finished with five runs scored, breaking a single-game record previously held by 15 other occasions. Not to be outdone was freshman Arianna Gooden (Bakersfield, Mass.) who finished 5-for-5, tying the mark for hits in a game. All but one Nighthawk player scored a run in the first game.

Mountaineers sophomore Lizzy Bench (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and junior Shea Wilson (Mesa, Ariz.) both finished 1-for-3. Freshman Brooke Gates (Pittsfield, Mass.) also recorded a hit, finishing 1-for-2.

The Nighthawks started the game with two in scoring position when a single by Alexis Vieira (Pawtucket, R.I.) scored both runners for a 2-0 lead. The next batter, Gooden, ran out an infield single, getting an RBI in the process for a 3-0 lead. Gooden later scored on a wild pitch.

In the second, the Nighthawks put up seven runs, all with two outs. Sass started the rally with a solo home run and a 5-0 lead. Back-to-back walks and a Gooden single would make it 6-0.

Fielding errors upped the score to 8-0 and two singles and a wild pitch ended the scoring at 11-0. 

Eight more runs in the third starting with a Gooden single that scored two for a 13-0 lead. With the bases loaded, two straight wild pitches brought in two more runs for a 15-0 lead. An RBI groundout made it 16-0, followed by an Alina Milauskas (Elkridge, Md.) single to make it 17-0. Sass hit her second home run, a two-run shot for a 19-0 lead.

Five more in the fifth in an inning that featured a pair of RBI singles, a double by Naomi Ricciotti (Pheonix, Ariz.), an RBI groundout and a fielding error, all resulting in a 24-0 lead.

Nighthawks freshman Mallory Stefan (Thornton, Colo.) pitched five innings, allowing just three hits with six strikeouts. The win moves her to 7-9 on the season and gives her the program record for shutouts in a season with three.

Game Two: Newbury 11 - Southern Vt. 2

The offense continued to roll as all but one Nighthawk finished with at least one hit, as the Nighthawks defeated the Mountaineers 11-2 in the second half of the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon.

Sass batted 2-for-3 in Game Two, with another home run. Gooden was 3-for-4, all singles and three RBIs. Vieira finished 2-for-5 with three runs scored while Ricciotti and Milauskas both recorded two hits.

Wilson finished 2-for-3 for the Mountaineers including two runs scored and a stolen base. Junior Julia Florance (Salem, Mass.) also finished 2-for-3, adding an RBI. 

With one out in the first, Sass struck for a home run, the sixth of her season, putting her tied at the top in the NECC with Bench. 

Following a single and a walk, sophomore Tina Babcock (Ayer, Mass.) doubled to right field, scoring a pair for a 3-0 lead.

In the third, Sass led off the inning with a double to left field. Vieira then reached on an error and Sass came around to score due to the miscue. Two batters later, Gooden singled to give the Nighthawks a 5-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the fourth, with Wilson on second, a Florence single up the middle broke up the shutout with the Mountaineers now trailing 5-1. 

A series of singles in the Nighthawks fifth would score Vieira and Ricciotti for a 7-1 lead. Later in the inning, an RBI groundout by senior Elizabeth Kia (Kea'au, Hawaii) made it 8-1. 

Gooden was at it again in the sixth with another single, scoring Sass from second.

A Nighthawks error in the sixth would provide the Mountaineers with their second run while still trailing 9-2.

Two final runs in the seventh for the Nighthawks, one on an error and the other on a sacrifice fly by Vieira, would provide the final scores of the game, 11-2.

Milauskas got the start for the Nighthawks, pitching a complete game while allowing two runs, one earned on five hits and a career-high 11 strikeouts. Milauskas improves to 8-5 and is now in a three-way tie in the NECC for most wins.

The Nighthawks take Sunday off before returning on Monday night against Lesley University. Monday's game was stopped short some two weeks ago and will resume with Lesley leading 5-2, starting the top of the sixth. The continuation is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. at BBN Field in Cambridge.