By Brendan Coughlin
We are into April, and it would be almost an entire month before the Bridgewater State University Bears softball team would return to the field for a game following their season opening trip in Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Fla.
Coming into the week at 7-3, the Bears aimed to continue their winning ways. BSU has captured the previous two Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) championships and are expected to do the same this season, voted by the league’s coaches as the MASCAC favorites.
With their reconstructed schedule due to the vicious winter weather, BSU has 26 scheduled games in the month of April.
The beginning of this April madness was a doubleheader against Rhode Island College in Providence, R.I. on April 2nd. The Bears secured the first game 12-11, but were defeated 12-8 in the finale.
Bridgewater got their MASCAC season underway when the team traveled to Salem State University for a pair of games this past Friday.
In the first of two games, BSU was unable to get the bats going and fell to Salem, 6-1. A pair of doubles in the third inning from sophomore Kelly McCarthy and senior Jocelyn Bettencourt would account for the only Bear run.
The tides would turn in the afternoon as BSU turned up their bats and scored in the first inning. Courtney Leddy followed with a two RBI single in the second inning.
Breanna Shaffer scored her second run of the game on a McCarthy single to extend the lead to 4-0.
Iliana Rivera pitched five solid innings allowing only one run on three hits to give her the win, improving her record to 4-2 on the season.
The Bears returned to action Tuesday afternoon at Lasell College in Newton, Mass. BSU showed up to play and did not even need the entire seven innings to decide game one of the doubleheader. The game ended early in an 11-0 slaughter rule for a Bear’s win.
In that game, McCarthy not only pitched a complete game shutout on the mound, but blasted a three-run home run in the first inning. BSU scored 11 runs on 12 hits in the victory.
Game two would prove to be a much closer affair with Lasell. Bridgewater took the victory 13-9 with McCarthy coming in for relief to earn her second win of the day on the mound. She now has a 3-2 record for the season.
Senior Jessica Laudati was the hero going 4-for-5 in the game, including punishing the ball for two of her three home runs on the season.
The preseason favorited BSU Bears will look to live up to their potential over the next month as their strength will be tested with a month of April jam-packed with doubleheaders and MASCAC division rivalries.
Brendan Coughlin is the Sports Editor for The Comment. Follow him on Twitter at @bcough23