QUINCY, Mass.- The top-seeded Eastern Nazarene College softball team downed fourth-seeded Lesley 7-1 Thursday afternoon at Mitchell/McCoy Field in its first game of the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament.
The Lions improve to 25-12 on the season with the victory and move into the winners' bracket in the NECC Tournament. The Lynx fall to 24-14 overall with the loss and will face Newbury in an elimination game.
Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) paced the home side with two hits, three RBIs, and two runs scored in the contest. Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.) notched one base knock, three RBIs, and one run scored. Kiley Ozaki (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) finished with one hit, one RBI, and a run while Rebecca Ashman (Havre de Grace, Md.) scored twice and landed a base knock.
Jordan Day led the visitors with a pair of hits and one run scored while Stephanie Schofield chipped in with a base knock and one RBI.
Eastern Nazarene claimed an early 3-0 lead with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Ozaki laced a double to left field to drive in Ashman all the way from first base. Clements followed with a laser over the centerfield fence for her team-leading 10th home run of the spring.
The Lions generated four runs in the third to widen the margin to 7-0. Clements raked a single to left field to plate Dominique Santos (Lancaster, Calif.) before Bow blasted a three-run shot for her third homer of the year to score Clements and Ashman.
Lesley got on the board in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 7-1. Day crossed the dish as Schofield was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) fired a complete game in her 23rd start of the spring and struck out 12.
Day threw 2.1 innings in the pitcher's circle for the Lynx before Jen Thorburn tossed 3.2 scoreless frames.
Looking ahead, Eastern Nazarene will battle New England College for a spot in the NECC Tournament championship while Lesley will take on Newbury in an elimination game May 4.