QUINCY, Mass.- Rookie Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) clobbered a three-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Eastern Nazarene College softball team claimed a thrilling 7-4 victory over Nichols in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament Play-In game Saturday afternoon at Mitchell/McCoy Field.
The sixth-seeded Lions improve to 16-23 on the year and advance to the double-elimination phase of the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament. The seventh-seeded Bison wrap up the season with a 14-21 overall record.
Eastern Nazarene will take on No. 3 Salve Regina in the opening round of the CCC Tournament May 2 at Endicott College.
Clements led the home team with two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored on the day. Viviana Coix (Warrenville, Ill.) finished with a pair of base knocks, two runs scored and an RBI. Payton Fry (Chandler, Ariz.) chipped in with two hits and two RBIs while Heidi Gomez (Floral Park, N.Y.) recorded two base knocks and drove in one RBI.
The visitors got on the board in the top of the first to seize an early 1-0 edge. Kendall Meehan scampered home on a throwing error after she stole third.
The Lions jumped ahead 3-1 with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Coix laced a double down the line in right to plate Lauren Weidler (Lansdale, Pa.) from second base. Fry followed with a two-run single to the gap in right-center to score Clements and Coix.
Nichols cut the deficit in half, 3-2, with a run in the third inning. Haley Fountain crossed the dish as Kasey Ayer reached on an error.
The Bison leveled the score at 3-3 with a run in the fifth. Ayer rolled a single up the middle to drive in xxxxx Kilborn from second.
The guests reclaimed a one-run advantage in the top of the sixth, 4-3. Meehan raked a base knock up the middle to plate Courtney Manarky for the go-ahead run.
Eastern Nazarene responded with a run in the home half of the sixth to tie the contest at 4-4. Heidi Gomez roped a two-out double to centerfield to score the equalizer as Coix crossed the dish.
The two teams headed to extra innings with the score even at 4-4 through seven innings.
After a scoreless eighth and ninth frame, the Lions clinched the win in the 10th. Becky Bahr (Brentwood, N.Y.) and Weidler both reached base to lead off the inning. Clements followed with her fifth homer of the season as she launched a three-run blast over the towering fence in left field to drive in Bahr and Tylan Onorato (Wiscassett, Maine).
Heidi Gomez started in the pitcher's circle and tossed 5.1 innings while striking out six batters. Weidler hurled 4.2 scoreless innings of relief and notched four strikeouts.