The Fitchburg State softball team opened the 2023 campaign by dropping a pair of contests in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on Tuesday, falling 5-3 to Penn College in eight innings in the opener before dropping a 10-2 decision to Montclair State in five innings to close the day.
The Falcons opened the scoring against Penn as Dana Cisowski came across in the first after an error on a ball put into play by Isabella Sousa. The lead doubled in the third as Julia Gauvin cross the plate on a triple by Molly Grass.
The Wildcats (2-1) scored five unanswered runs to take the lead, with Margaret Mangene belting a two-run triple in the fifth and Ivvy Morder notching a two-run double in the eighth.
Fitchburg State managed to get one back in the bottom of the eighth as a Sousa groundout plated Gauvin, but the Falcons couldn’t pull even.
Sarah Cahill went the distance for the Falcons, allowing two earned runs on five hits, while striking out nine and walking four.
Gauvin finished the opener 1-for-3 with two runs scored and Cisowski was 2-for-4 with a run.
In the second game, Montclair State went up 6-0 in the opening two frames before Fitchburg State posted a pair of runs in the third. Cisowski doubled to left center to plate Allison Pogorek before later coming in to score herself on a Grass double to left center.
However, the Falcon bats were shut down the rest of the way as Montclair rolled to the win.
Mackenzie Leveille took the loss, pitching 1.2 innings and allowing six earned runs on five hits. Mary Kate Moreau pitched 2.1 innings of relief, surrendering two earned runs on five hits.
Grass went 2-for-3 in defeat, while Madison Mantegani was 2-for-2 at the dish for Fitchburg State.
The Falcons return to action Wednesday, facing Fairmount State at 11 a.m. and Gettysburg at 7 p.m.
Local skiers shine on slopes
The Nashoba Regional tandem of Ella Varnerin and Jillian Bradford led a strong showing from area skiers in the MIAA Ski Championships at Berkshire East Mountain Resort on March 1, taking third and fourth overall, respectively.
Varnerin took third overall in the giant slalom in 50.08 seconds, while Bradford was fifth in the event in 50.69. Varnerin then claimed fifth in the slalom (49.82) with Bradford right behind her in sixth (49.84).
Neve Martin of Lunenburg finished 29th overall (1:50.79), while teammate Abby Reid was 32nd (1:51.10). Martin was 53rd in the giant slalom (56.82) and 27th in the slalom (53.97), while Reid took 42nd in the giant slalom (55.92) and 32nd in the slalom (55.18).
On the boys’ side, Nashoba’s Declan Varnerin earned a top-10 finish, taking ninth overall in 1:41.19. He took 11th in the giant slalom (50.23) and 10th in the slalom (50.96). Teammate Brian Quill-Schuffels was 88th (1:59.46), 87th in the giant slalom (57.32) and 103rd in the slalom (1:02.14).