Worcester, Mass. – Clark junior Mel Melkonian (Worcester, Mass.) hit three homeruns – including two in the second game but visiting Worcester State was able to collect a split of the crosstown rivals' twinbill on Tuesday afternoon on O'Brien Field.
The Cougars (10-10) won the opener 3-0 behind a standout pitching performance from junior Nicole Meuse (Hudson, Mass.) but the Lancers (6-10) scored seven straight runs at one point to take the nightcap, 7-5.
Game one was scoreless through the first three innings, as Meuse retired the first 11 batters she faced – four of which came via the strikeout. The Clark offense, meanwhile, picked up three hits over that span but could not get the first run across the plate even after putting runners on first and second in the bottom of the first.
Stefanie Kettenacker (Hastings-On-The-Hudson, N.Y.) finally put the first run on the board for the Cougars when she blasted a double to right that scored Tatiana Chunis (Sutton, Mass.) from first in the bottom of the fourth. She then came around to score when Maureen Coakley (Worcester, Mass.) doubled to left center, making the score 2-0.
Melkonian then gave Clark a 3-0 edge when she sent her second homerun of the season over the right field fence.
Worcester State put runners on second and third with no outs in the sixth but Meuse was able to induce a groundout back to her for one out and then got a double play when Kaitlyn Storro (Leominster, Mass.) sent a routine groundball to short that was thrown to first for one out and then sent home where Carolyn Hassett (Charlton, Mass.) was tagged out, ending the rally.
Meuse went the distance, striking out nine while allowing just five hits and no walks. Katie Roy (Worcester, Mass.) went the first four innings for the Lancers, yielding two earned runs on six hits. Clark banged out ten hits in the contest, with everyone in the lineup getting at least one.
Game two started off well for the Cougars as they took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a towering blast down the left field line by Melkonian that sailed high over the fence for her second of the day.
Worcester State responded with three unearned runs in the third as Clark committed two errors. Allie Lamoureux (East Brookfield, Mass.) who had three doubles in the second game, banged a ball off the right field fence for a run scoring two-bagger that highlighted the frame.
Ahead 3-2, the Lancers got an another unearned run in the fourth and then pushed three more across on a bases clearing double from Ashley Howe (Winchendon, Mass.) in the fifth to make the score 7-2.
The Cougars mounted one final rally in the seventh, as Molly Clark (North Kingstown, R.I.) led off the seventh with her first career hit. Maya Allen (Concord, Mass.) followed that up with a single through the left side, setting the stage for Melkonian who brought Clark to within 7-5 with a powerful blast that sailed deep and high over the right centerfield fence.
Hannah Everson (Methuen, Mass.), who went the distance for Worcester State, then recorded two outs on a popup and a groundout to end the game.
Everson (4-4) scattered eight hits with five earned runs and four strikeouts. Hayley Buckheit (Camden Hills, Maine) went the first four innings, giving up six hits and seven runs – only three of which were earned.
Heather Figula (Brick, N.J.) was solid in relief, going three innings, allowing just three hits and no runs.
In addition to Lamoureux, Roy went 2-for-2, while Jaime Jacobs (Billerica, Mass.) and Everson each had RBI.
Melkonian accounted for all five Clark runs with a career-high tying five RBI in game two.
Both squads will be back in action on Friday at 3:00 p.m. Clark plays host to Coast Guard, while the Lancers venture to Salem State.