BOSTON, Mass. - A three-run sixth inning but the Wildcats brought them back from two runs down as Bay Path advances in the winner's bracket with a 5-4 victory over the top-seed, Newbury Nighthawks, on Thursday night at Sweeney Field.
Wildcats junior Lauren Vallee (Bristol, Conn.) finished 2-for-3 with a pair of solo home runs. Freshman Kiley Bissell (Goshen, Mass.) batted 2-for-4, both singles. Freshman Taylor Feraco (Oxford, Mass.) provided the game-tying, pinch-hit single, finishing 1-for-1.
Nighthawks sophomore Alina Milauskas (Elkridge, Md.) batted 3-for-4 with a double. Sophomore Alexis Vieira (Pawtucket, R.I.) finished 1-for-4 with a pair of RBIs. Sophomore Tina Babcock (Ayer, Mass.) went 1-for-3 with a double.
Trailing 4-2 in the Wildcats sixth, a string of singles loaded the bases with one out. The Wildcats went to the bench for sophomore Madison Goodhart (Pawtucket, R.I.) but a ground ball cut down the runner at home, putting two outs on the board with the bases still loaded.
Feraco stepped in and a hard hit single to center field scored Marissa Sarna-McCarthy (Westhampton, Mass.) and Katrina Peck (Newington, Conn.), tying the game at 4-4.
The next batter, senior Grethen Hale (Naugatuck, Conn.), singled through the right side, scoring Goodhart and giving the Wildcats a 5-4 lead.
Solo home runs to right-center field in the first and third innings by Vallee got the Wildcats out to a 2-1 lead following the Wildcats third.
In the Nighthawks third, a two-out single to left field by Vieira scored Lindsey Clark (Venice, Fla.), tying the game 2-2.
The Nighthawks took their first lead in the fourth, 3-2, on a double to right field by Babcock, a shot that nearly missed being a two-run homer.
The Nighthawks added one in the fifth, doubling the lead on a RBI groundout by Vieira that scored Milauskas.
Wildcats freshman Felicia Gailiardetz (Londonderry, N.H.) pitched a complete game, allowing four runs, three earned on nine hits while striking out five. The win moves her to 12-7 on the season.
Nighthawks freshman Mallory Stefan (Thronton, Colo.) also went the full seven innings, allowing five earned on eight hits, striking out four. The loss drops Stefan to 10-10.
The Nighthawks drop into the loser's bracket, where they will face the No. 3 seed Regis College Pride on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. in an elimination game at Sweeney Field.
The Wildcats move forward in the winner's bracket and waiting for them is the No. 2 seed Lesley University Lynx on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. at Sweeney Field.
The winner of Nighthawks vs. Pride and loser of Wildcats vs. Lynx will then face-off at 4:00 p.m in an elimination game for the right to play Sunday in the New England Collegiate Conference Championship Game.