Softball Owls Give Coach His 600th Win
Keene State softball coach Charlie Beach, at 598 wins, didn't have to wait long to notch his 600th victory. The Owls went to bat for him, sweeping Fitchburg State 10-4 and 15-1 (five innings) to give Beach his milestone win. Beach becomes the 17th coach in Division III to reach the 600-win mark. His career record stands at 600-369-6. "It's a great accomplishment," said Beach. "I know a lot of coaches haven't done this, so I feel privileged to join the crowd that have. However, I'm glad that it's out of the way, so we can get on with our season." With the sweep, KSC improves to 11-5. Fitchburg falls to 6-9. The Owls banged out a combined 25 hits in the two games played in Coolidge Park, a men's field. "A lot of the long fly balls that would've have gone out in a women's field turned into long triples or doubles," said Beach.
In the opener, KSC took a 3-0 lead in the second inning on RBI hits from freshman Molly Dussault (Weare, N.H.) and sophomore Kayla Joyce (Bridgewater, Mass.). The Owls added four more runs in the fifth. Junior Haley Chandler (Wakefield, Mass.) had the big hit in the inning, a two-out RBI single through the left side that scored two runs. After the Falcons came back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, the Owls plated three more runs in the seventh with Joyce and Chandler delivering run-producing hits.
Chandler finished the game with two hits and three RBIs. Sophomore Nicole Dupuis (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Joyce each collected two hits. Junior Courtney Savoie (Stratham, N.H.) got the win for the Owls to improve her record to 2-3. She went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on four hits while fanning five and walking two. Junior Emily Albin (Bethel, Conn.) tossed the final 1.1 innings to record her first save of the season. She gave up two hits and struck out two.
The Owls didn't waste any time getting on the board in the second game, scoring four runs in the first and five more runs in the second. Dupuis knocked in a run with a single, and junior Samantha Pratt (Bristol, Conn.) had a RBI triple in the first. Sophomore Jess Fiorenza (Wakefield, Mass.) had a two-run triple and junior pitcher Sara Stocklinski (Newton, N.J.) helped her own cause with a two-run home run in the second inning.
Fiorenza added an RBI single as the Owls went up 11-1 in the third. Joyce had a two-run single and Chandler belted a two-run home run in a four-run fourth inning for KSC. It was Chandler's third home run of the season. Fiorenza and Joyce each finished with three hits in the Owls' 15 hit attack. Stocklinski and Fiorenza each knocked in three runs, while Chandler and Dupuis each had two hits. Stocklinski improves to 6-0 with the win. She went five innings, allowing one run and just one hit while striking out nine and walking two.
Keene State is scheduled to open up its Little East schedule on Saturday at UMass-Dartmouth.