FRANKLIN, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College softball team notched a narrow 1-0 win before outslugging Dean 12-3 Saturday in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The Lions improve to 16-10 overall and remain atop the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) standings with a 7-1 mark with the victories. The Bulldogs fall to 8-18 on the season and 3-4 in league action with the results.
Dominique Santos (Lancaster, Calif.) landed four hits, drove in one RBI, and scored once on the day. Rebecca Ashman (Havre de Grace, Md.) registered two base knocks, four RBIs, four runs scored, and one stolen base. Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) finished with three hits, two RBIs, and one run. Jenessa Huerta (El Monte, Calif.) chipped in with a pair of hits and two RBIs while Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.) recorded three runs scored, two RBIs, and a base hit.
In the opening tilt, Eastern Nazarene edged Dean 1-0.
The Lions tallied the game's lone run in the bottom of the third inning. Santos laced a two-out double to right-centerfield to drive in Ashman all the way from first base.
Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) spun her eighth complete-game shutout of the season and matched her season-high with 14 strikeouts.
In game two, Eastern Nazarene crushed three home runs to power past Dean 12-3.
The Bulldogs captured a 2-0 lead with two runs in the top of the first. Karissa Menzinger belted a two-run homer to plate Shelby Smith. The runs halted the Lions' scoreless-innings streak 27-consecutive scoreless frames.
Eastern Nazarene responded with a run in the home half of the first inning to trim the deficit to 2-1. Clements collected her team-best 22nd RBI of the spring as she raked a single to centerfield to score Viviana Coix (Warrenville, Ill.) from second.
The Lions leveled the game at 2-2 with one run in the second. Huerta scorched a double to left field to knock in her 10th RBI as Ashman scored her team-leading 18th run of the year.
Eastern Nazarene produced four runs in the third to capture a 6-2 advantage. Ashman launched a grand slam to centerfield for her third homer of the season to chase in Tylan Onorato (Wiscassett, Maine), Bow, and Schaffer.
Dean cut the gap to 6-3 with a run in the top of the fifth inning as Ali Nelson belted a leadoff home run.
The Lions chalked up four runs in the fifth to stretch the margin to 10-3. Clements clobbered her conference-leading seventh home run. Bow crossed the dish on an infield hit by Rebecca Hayner (Halfmoon, N.Y.) before Ashman and Hayner tagged up and scored on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Meghan Stanley (Bedford, Mass.) and Huerta.
Eastern Nazarene tacked on two runs in the sixth to clinch a 12-3 victory. Bow blasted a walk-off home run for her first of the year to plate Santos.
Schaffer hurled sixth complete game in the last six contests and finished with 11 strikeouts.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene travels to Newbury for a midweek conference twinbill April 17.