MANCHESTER, N.H. – Freshman Kelsey Smith (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant HS) and sophomore Kelly Ferris (Seymour, Conn./Seymour HS), a pair of lefties, combined for five innings of quality relief as Bentley University rallied for a 7-4 win over Southern New Hampshire University in the first half of a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Penmen Field.
SNHU, ranked sixth in the NCAA Division II East Region, came back to take the second game, 2-1, in nine innings. That was the only win for the Penmen in the three-game series.
Bentley, down 3-1 after two innings, claimed the lead with three runs in the fifth inning. Freshman pinch-runner Chelsea Vena (Matawan, N.J./Saint John Vianney HS) scored the tying run on a throwing error and an RBI single by senior right fielder Chelsea Tamuk (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Earl L. Vandermeulen HS) scored another pinch-runner, freshman Katelyn Lebreux (Biddeford, Maine/ Biddeford HS), with the go-ahead run. Later in the inning, a sacrifice fly by second baseman Laura McDonough (Braintree, Mass./Braintree HS) made it 4-3.
McDonough, a grad student, had a productive day at the plate with three hits, three RBI and her first career home run.
The sixth inning featured a two-run homer by senior third baseman Kelly Sanborn (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton HS) that extended the Bentley lead to 6-3. After the Penmen picked up an unearned run in the sixth, the Falcons added insurance in the seventh on an RBI single through the left side by sophomore shortstop Alex Borrelli (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic HS).
Bentley's eight hits included two apiece by Sanborn and Connor.
Smith, who received the win to improve to 3-2 on the season, scattered four hits and struck out three in her three innings of work while being charged with the unearned run. Ferris retired the final five batters she faced with the save her fifth of the season and her career, both Bentley records.
Ferris also pitched the first four innings of game two, allowing six hits and one run while stranding six runners on base. The lone run came on a fourth-inning lead-off homer to center by senior first baseman Cara Daly (Plainville, Mass.).
It remained a 1-0 game into the seventh inning when McDonough drove the ball over the left field fence for a game-tying home run.
Southern New Hampshire, meanwhile, was held scoreless until the bottom of the ninth by freshman Michelle DeVito (Bay Shore, N.Y./Bay Shore HS). Back-to-back two-out singles by sophomores Mo Hannan (Scarborough, Maine) and Katie Caruso (Newton, Mass.) set the table and classmate Lindsey Bolduc (Londonderry, N.H.) followed with a walk-off double to center.
Junior Ali Maloof (Norwood, Mass.) went the distance for Southern New Hampshire (21-12, 9-5 Northeast), striking out ten while allowing only three hits.
The split left the Falcons in fourth place in the Northeast Division with records of 16-14 overall and 8-6 division. Bentley, 7-3 in its last ten, will play a doubleheader at division-leading Saint Anselm College Monday at noon.