NCAA Division III Softball Willimantic Regional: #2 Eastern Connecticut Eliminates University of Rochester, 6-1

MANSFIELD, Conn. – Eastern Connecticut senior Molly Rathbun (Hebron, Conn.) set a pair of program records in a three hit outing as the top-seeded Warriors continued their season with a 6-1 triumph over the third-seeded University of Rochester at the 2012 NCAA Division-III Softball Willimantic Regional on a sun-soaked Saturday morning.

Eastern Connecticut, ranked second in the NFCA national coaches poll, improves to 42-2 and will take on the winner of the game between Ithaca and St. John Fisher tonight at 6:30 p.m. University of Rochester sees its 2012 campaign come to a close with a 29-15 mark.

In the top of the third, Rathbun fanned her 306th batter of the year to claim the program's lead for strikeouts in a season as she finished the day with 314 en route to her record-setting 31st win of the season.

The victory also helped Eastern Connecticut's Diana Pepin move into a tie for first place with Clyde Washburne as the program's leader for wins as she now sports a 284-157-1 record for a .641 winning percentage.

University of Rochester sophomore Meghan Hennessy (Hamburg, N.Y.) led off the game as she reached first on a Warrior infield miscue. She was advanced to third on a double by sophomore Nina Korn (Rochester, N.Y.) and scampered home on the errant throw from the outfield. Rathbun then fanned the next seven Yellowjacket batters.

The game would remain close as University of Rochester took the 1-0 advantage into the fourth.

In the bottom of the frame, Eastern Connecticut sophomore Megan Godwin (Manchester, Conn.) singled through the left side to plate senior Priscilla Alicea (Stratford, Conn.) who began the inning as she legged out a hit to the shortstop. A Yellowjackets miscue on a ball put into play by sophomore Mattie Brett (Waterford, Conn.) allowed Eastern Connecticut take the 2-1 lead.

Sophomore Stephanie Johnson (Plantsville, Conn.) later singled to right field as she drove in Godwin before Yellowjacket senior Nat Sassaman (Phoenixville, Pa.) gunned down Brett at home. The Warriors then pushed another runner across home plate as freshman Sam Rossetti (Shelton, Conn.) made contact on an RBI groundout to shortstop.

In the fifth, Godwin lifted a sacrifice fly to shallow right field for her second RBI of the afternoon for the Warriors.

Alicea helped plate an Eastern Connecticut insurance run as she singled to right in the sixth.

Freshman Brittany Grage (Pittsford, N.Y.) absorbed the loss (12-7)  as she allowed five runs – two earned – on seven hits while striking out a pair of Warriors in four innings of work.

Godwin was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate as she drove in a pair of runs and scored once while Alicea went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Sassaman accounted for two of the Yellowjackets three hits in the contest.