CONCORD, N.H. – The NHTI Lynx topped Southern Maine Community College 7-5 in extra innings to win the Yankee Small College Conference Championship for their second title in three years.
The Lynx jumped out to 1-0 lead in the top of the second when second baseman Natalie Baker (Sutton, N.H.) chopped a ground ball to the pitcher. Stefani Gauthier (Pittsfield, N.H.) waited for the throw to first base and slid under the return throw back home to score the first run. The SeaWolves evened the score in the bottom of the inning on a single to the gap in right center field of the bat of Samantha Rioux. Kaylah Abdul scored all the way from first.
NHTI wasted no time jumping back into the lead on a Danyel McNicholas (Raymond, N.H.) bunt that scored Brianna Whitcomb (Epsom, N.H) from third. The Lynx added a run in the top of the sixth on a Homerun by Kabrina Roy (Merrimack, N.H), her fourth of the season. SMCC battled back once again tying it up in the bottom of the inning Kahli Philibotte doubled driving in a pair.
SeaWolves pitcher Sara Guimond gave up a leadoff double in the top off the seventh then struck out two of the next three to leave the runner stranded. Guimond allowed seven runs on 10 hits while striking out 9 and walking two.
NHTI's Brianna Whitcomb set down the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. Whitcomb allowed five runs on eight hits while striking out a pair and walking one.
The top of the eight the Lynx scored four runs to secure the championship. Alyssa Columb (Manchester, N.H.) drove in the runner placed on second to start the inning followed by a double that hit off the top of the left field fence off of the bat of Whitcomb. Gauthier doubled three batters later to drive in a pair and Kate Andritz (Stark, N.H.) added an RBI on a single to center. The SeaWolves added a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning with two outs but could not come from behind for a third time.
The Lynx finish the season 6-8 and SMCC falls to 16-4. The SeaWolves have a shot at an at large bid for the USCAA national tournament.
The Lynx topped the College of Saint Joseph's, 9-0 in five innings to reach the finals. Whitcomb was the winning pitcher allowing one hit while fanning four. NHTI's offense was led by Whitcomb going 2-3 at the plate while scoring twice. Roy hit her first homerun of the day in the top of the first giving the Lynx a 3-0 lead early.
SMCC topped CMCC, 14-0 in the second semifinal. Guimond and Kristen Mackenzie combined for nine strikeouts and zero earned runs in five innings of work. Mackenzie also got it done at the plate with her fifth multi-hit game of the season. Abdul was a perfect 2-2 at the dish and plated three in her efforts.
NHTI's Whitcomb earned tournament MVP while catcher Cloumb earned defensive player of the tournament. SMCC's Abdul earned the offensive player of the tournament honors.