North Adams, MA- The MCLA Trailblazers swept the visiting Westfield State Owls with a pair of 2-1 victories this afternoon at Zavattaro Athletics Complex. The Trailblazers have now won six straight MASCAC games as they moved into a second place tie with Worcester State heading into the final weekend of the year.
MCLA is now 12-14 overall and 8-4 in conference play. The Owls drop to 9-17 overall and are 2-10 in league play.
Rachel Quackenbush earned both victories going the distance in game one before earning the win in game two coming out of the bullpen.
After two and a half scoreless innings of the opener, the Trailblazers broke through in the bottom of the third. Sam Boyle and Alex Romano both reached to start the inning and moved up on Micheala DiNicola's sacrifice. After the Owls recorded the second out, Amanda Meczwyor plated both runs with a single to right field for a 2-0 lead.
Westfield got a run back in the fourth off Quackenbush when Breanne Bisceglia led off with a triple and came home on a Emma Dunbar's groundout.
From there the story was Quackenbush. She didn't allow a hit over the final three frames and finished the game with 9 punchouts to break her own single season mark set a year ago. Kelly Fluet was tagged with the game one loss tossing six innings and striking out seven Trailblazers.
MCLA held a slim 4-3 advantage in hits as DiNicola finished with a pair in the opener.
In game two, the Owls jumped out quickly against MCLA starter Meczwyor. Amanda Flower singled to lead off the game and promptly stole second. She scored on Julia Sullivan's single for an early 1-0 edge.
MCLA would eventually tie the game in the fourth when Quackenbush hit a one out single and came around on Meczwyor's triple. She was stranded at third however keeping the score at 1-1 through four innings.
Quackenbush came on to relieve in the sixth and she struck out the side setting up a rally in the bottom half. Alex Romano reached on an error to lead off and moved up on DiNicola's sacrifice. Meczwyor would connect yet again as her single plated Romano for a 2-1 edge heading to the seventh inning.
Elizabeth Kelly singled to lead off and pinch runner Kat Robinson stole second. Robinson then advanced to third on a passed ball with nobody out. Quackenbush would bear down though and collect three straight punchouts to record the win and close out the sweep.
Westfield outhit MCLA 5-4 in game two. Meczwyor tossed five innings in the no decision giving up four hits and the lone Owl run. She struck out six.
Quackenbush tossed the last two frames and collected six strikeouts. Emily Mailloux took the loss for the Owls in game two.
MCLA will host Bridgewater State on Saturday in a key MASCAC showdown of the top two teams. Westfield will head to Fitchburg State on Saturday.