CASTLETON, Vt. – Junior Megan Hodgdon (Cheshire) hit a tie-breaking home run leading off the fifth inning of the second game to back the combined six-hit pitching of junior righty Haleigh Cardello (Litchfield, NH) and sophomore righty Morgan Bolduk (Vernon) and lift the Eastern Connecticut State University softball team to a 3-1 win and a split of its Little East Conference doubleheader against Castleton University Saturday afternoon at Spartan Field.
In the first game, junior lefty Morgan Sanson (Thomaston) and Bolduk shut out Castleton (8-15, 2-8 LEC) on one hit over the final five innings but the Spartans' three first-inning runs on four hits held up in a 3-2 victory.
Thanks to Hodgdon's second home run of the year, Cardello left the second game with a 2-1 lead after five innings, Eastern (19-7, 8-4 LEC) tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on junior Sabrina LeMere's (North Branford) two-out, run-scoring single, and Bolduk retired six in a row – the final three on strikes – over the last two innings to earn her first save of the year. Cardello (5-3) pitched a six-hitter and did not walk a batter while fanning two. Eastern pitchers had nine strikeouts and only one walk on the afternoon.
Sanson (5-3) retired nine straight at one point after the first inning of the first game, but Eastern was only able to break through for single runs in the second and third off complete-game winner Kylie Wright (5-7), a freshman righty. Sanson gave up five hits and all three runs with a strikeout and walk and Bolduk retired the final five straight, three on strikeouts.
Freshman Julia SanGiovanni (East Haven) homered to lead off the second inning of the first game, and freshman Brooke Matyasovsky (Orange) drove in freshman Laura Zenk (Hermon, ME) with a two-out single in the third to cut the Spartans' lead to 3-2. In the fifth, Wright left the tying run on second with a strikeout and outfield fly ball, got a fly ball and ground ball to strand the tying run at second in the sixth, and got an infield pop to end the game with the tying run on first.
LeMere extended her on-base streak to 12 with a single in the first game and two singles in the second. SanGiovanni also finished the day with three hits and Hodgdon and Matyasovsky each had two.
Eastern hosts Johnson & Wales University in a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. at Clyde Washburne Field.