WHITTIER, CA - For the first time in program history, the Western Connecticut State University softball team opened its season in California. On Sunday, the left-coast hosts were not too welcoming as Whittier College swept a doubleheader, 8-1 and 3-1 at Palmer Field.
In the opener, Nicole Bonanni (Norwalk, CT) went 2-for-3 and drove in the Colonials' lone run with an infield single to the left side in the top of the fourth inning. She drove in Jenna Houlahan (Yorktown Heights, NY) led off the frame with a double to left center field.
Sophomore Angelina Miller (Holbrook, NY) suffered the loss after going four innings and allowing seven runs, four of them earned, on four hits. She struck out one and walked three in her season debut.
Kaley Langlois (Watertown, CT) went the final two innings and gave up a run on two hits.
"We played well for the first time on a dirt field," said WestConn head coach Heather Stone. "I was really impressed with the pitching staff today. They showed tremendous composure and growth from last season.
The Poets, now 8-7-1, scattered six hits with Megan Heal and Hayley Wishner each belting a home run. Marialena Ahern and Jade Sanchez each had a single and two runs batted in for the winners.
Sam Casanas went the distance, allowing seven hits and striking out five. She improves to 1-2 on the season.
In the nightcap, Sara Tenke (Glen Cove, NY) hurled a gem, but was on the short end of the decision. She allowed three runs, one of them earned, on three singles. She struck out two and walked one.
Charlene Plasczynski (Bristol, CT) pounded her first home run of the season for WestConn.
Tori Dugan (Norwalk, CT) was the game's only player with multiple hits. She went 2-for-4 from the lead-off spot.
Amanda Melodia started and went three innings. She allowed an earned run on three hits while striking out two and walking one.
Alexis Vargas earned the victory after coming on for the final four innings. She allowed just one hit, struck out one and gave up one free pass.
Brittany Attaway and Alli Fonseca each has a run-scoring single. Hannah Angileri drove in what proved to be the game-winning run on a fielder's choice in Whittier's two-run second inning.
The Colonials, now 0-2, take on Cal Lutheran in a twinbill on Monday, March 12. First pitch is slated for 12 noon.