Cushman enjoys breakout year

College Notes

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After a slow start to her collegiate career, Cranston West product Marissa Cushman has found her feet and become one of the key bats in the Rhode Island College softball team’s lineup, picking up conference-wide recognition along the way.

The former Falcon struggled mightily at the plate during the team’s season-opening trip to Virginia, going 0-for-8 during the tour with three strikeouts.

However, once the Anchorwomen returned to New England, Cushman started making up for lost time, embarking on a 12-game hit streak in the most powerful way imaginable.

In RIC’s 26-0 pasting of Massachusetts Maritime in the front end of the teams’ March 19 doubleheader, the freshman smashed her first three home runs as an Anchorwoman, falling a solo shot shy of a home run cycle.

Cushman also drove home ten runs in the contest, with her lone non-homer-related RBI coming in the the game’s opening frame as she has hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Her performance against the Buccaneers sparked an award-winning week in which she went 10-for-15 at the plate, knocked home 15 runs while scoring eight herself and seven extra base hits.

As a result, the Little East Conference tabbed Cushman as not only its rookie of the week, but also its overall player of the week for the week ending March 24.

A week later, after going 5-for-7 with four RBIs and six runs scored in the Anchorwomen’s doubleheader sweep of Roger Williams, Cushman was able to retain her grip on the LEC’s rookie of the week honor.

For the season, Cushman is hitting at a .436 clip with six home runs and a team-leading 32 runs driven in. As she starts to head down the homestretch of her collegiate softball career, Cranston West product Lauren Salisbury is stringing together a strong season at the plate for Framingham State, as the Rams continue their push for a three-peat.

Playing in all but one of the team’s 32 games to date, the ex-Falcon is among the leaders for Framingham State in several offensive categories, with her five stolen bases placing her in a tie for second and her 22 runs batted in good for third.

Salisbury is hitting at a .340 clip with four doubles, a triple and a home run, the latter coming on St. Patrick’s Day as her solo shot keyed a five-run sixth inning in the Rams’ 10-7 triumph over Maine-Farmington.

She also has developed a knack for saving her best performances in the second game of doubleheaders, as three of her five multi-RBI games have come in the back end of a twinbill.

This included Salisbury’s 3-for-3 effort in the nightcap of an April 15 meeting with Massachusetts Maritime, in which she drove home a new single-game best four runs in an 18-1 throttling of the Buccaneers while scoring a further run herself.

More recently, the senior outfielder snapped a three-game hitless skid in Framingham State’s latest contest, drilling a base hit up the middle before scoring the go-ahead run in a 6-3 decision over Bridgewater State last Friday.

The victory saw the Rams exact a degree of revenge on the Bears, as Bridgewater State dealt Framingham State its first loss in conference play earlier in the day courtesy of a 6-1 setback.

Other than that lone blot on their copybook, Salisbury and the Rams have been barreling full speed ahead towards a third consecutive Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference championship, leading the loop with an 11-1 mark in league play.

Framingham State will wrap up the conference portion of their slate this weekend on the road against Fitchburg State, with their magic number as regards to clinching the top seed in the MASCAC tournament whittled down to two.

Before Friday’s doubleheader with the Falcons, the Rams will take on a pair of opponents in non-league play on consecutive days, playing Brandeis on Tuesday before traveling to the Ocean State for a Wednesday battle with Roger Williams .

Cranston West graduate Nik San Antonio has played in 17 games this spring for the Suffolk baseball team, batting .273 with 3 runs batted in and a stolen base for the Rams...Ex-Falcon Giuliana Hathaway has eight extra-base hits for the Central Connecticut softball team, including a pair of home runs in an 18-7 upending of Rider on March 24. The number of Cranston East alums on the women’s lacrosse team at Wentworth has doubled this spring with Jorgie Pashalian joining Marissa Nelson on the Leopards.

Pashalian has become an immediate starter by doing a little bit of everything, scoring six goals while assisting on four others, picking up 18 ground balls and causing eight turnovers.

Half of her goals thus far came in a 13-12 win over UMass-Dartmouth on March 21 that saw the Corsairs score the last six goals of the contest in a furious rally that fell just short.

Nelson is in the midst of her junior campaign, helping out Wentworth by achieving a near identical stat line as Pashalian on the season.

The ex-Thunderbolt has four goals, eight assists 16 ground balls and seven caused turnovers, while two of her markers coming from free-position opportunities.

Wentworth played its final regular season game yesterday when it hosted Gordon.

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