QUINCY, Mass.- The Eastern Nazarene College softball team dropped a 6-1 decision before bouncing back to earn a split with a 9-4 victory in game two against Nichols Friday afternoon at Mitchell/McCoy Field.
The Lions reach 15-12 on the year and 4-8 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference with the results. The Bison move to 11-11 overall and 4-6 in league action.
Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) registered three hits, four RBIs, and two runs scored. Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) posted three base knocks, three RBIs, and a pair of runs on the day. Lauren Weidler (Lansdale, Pa.) chipped in with two hits, one RBI, and one run scored.
In the opening contest, Nichols collected nine hits en route to capturing a 6-1 win.
The visitors got on the board in the top of the third to take a 1-0 edge. Cara Mayhew crossed the dish on a double to left-center by Chrissy Drake.
Nichols chalked up a pair of scores in the fourth to widen the gap to 3-0. Taylor McIntosh singled to right to drive in Kendall Meehan and Jessica Kuelling.
The Bison added three runs in the fifth to stretch their advantage to 6-0. Kuelling doubled to left to plate Meehan from second base. Meghan Sears and Kuelling both scored on a flare single to shallow right field by McIntosh.
Eastern Nazarene pushed across one run in the home half of the fifth to trim the deficit to 6-1. Weidler roped a single to the gap in right-center to knock in Viviana Coix (Warrenville, Ill.) from third.
Schaffer tossed her team-leading eighth complete game of the spring and racked up nine strikeouts.
In the nightcap, the Lions rallied to defeat the Bison 9-4 in exhilarating fashion.
Nichols tallied four runs in the top of the third to establish a 4-0 lead. With the bases full, Kuelling slapped a bases-clearing double down the left field line to drive in Christina Drake, Zoe Chevrette, and Meehan. Sears followed with an RBI single to score Kuelling.
Eastern Nazarene plated one run in the fourth to cut the gap to 4-1. Heidi Gomez (Floral Park, N.Y.) scorched a single to left to drive in Schaffer.
The Lions roared back with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to erase the three-run deficit and seize a 5-4 edge. Schaffer crushed a grand slam to straight-away centerfield to drive in Clements, Heidi Gomez, and Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.).
The home side tacked on four runs in the sixth to extend its advantage to 9-4. Kayleen Garrick (Sparks, Nev.) scampered home from third on a wild pitch to add an insurance run. After a walk to Weidler, Clements blasted her third home run of the season over the towering fence in left to score three.
Heidi Gomez spun her seventh complete game of the year to earn the win.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene returns to the diamond April 17 with a two-game set at Wentworth.