MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Sophomore Jill Richards (Kingston, Mass.) tossed a complete-game two hitter and helped her own cause with a two-run single at the plate, as UMass Dartmouth notched a 2-1 opening game victory over Plymouth State in a Little East Conference softball doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Saint Anselm’s South Athletic Field. The Panthers gained a split of the twinbill on a combined no-hitter from senior Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) and junior Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) to post a 1-0 nightcap triumph.
Richards laced a two-run single to left center in the top of the third of the lid-lifter for the visiting Corsairs (16-14, 7-3 LEC), but the Panthers (12-12, 5-1 LEC) sliced that margin in half in the bottom of the fourth on junior Jen Landers’ (Berlin, N.H.) RBI double to right center. That would prove to the all of the scoring in the opener, as Richards fanned four and picked up two hits at the plate to outduel Miller and earn her seventh win of the season for UMass Dartmouth. Miller also went the distance inside the circle in scattering six hits and striking out six to fall to 8-6 overall for Plymouth State, which suffered its first conference setback.
Mathieu and Richards locked up in another pitcher’s duel in the nightcap, as the two matches scoreless frames until the bottom of the sixth when freshman Madison Harris (Randolph, Mass.) plated senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) with the lone run of the second contest. Miller took over in the seventh and retired the side after hitting Richards with a pitch to open the inning, as Mathieu recorded her fourth win of the spring and Miller collected her second save with the combined no-hitter. Morrill had two of the Panthers’ seven hits off Richards, who went the distance in suffering the tough-luck decision for the Corsairs.
UMass Dartmouth heads to Gorham, Maine on Tuesday afternoon to take on Southern Maine in a Little East twinbill beginning at 3:00 pm, while Plymouth State travels to Keene, N.H. to square off with Keene State in a Little East doubleheader that begins at 3:30 pm.
(Photo Credit: Kyle Diangkinay '19, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant)