CUMBERLAND — For the second time this season Cumberland pitcher Juliet Nelson kept the Westerly High bats quiet. This time the right-hander shut out the Bulldogs 7-0 in a Division I preliminary playoff game Thursday.
Nelson, who no-hit Westerly in a 7-0 Clipper win on April 29, limited Westerly (7-14) to just three hits and only allowed one batter to reach second base.
Much like the regular season game, Nelson wasn’t overpowering, according to Westerly’s coach Chris Luppe, and struck out only three batters. In the no-hitter she recorded five strikeouts. Nelson did not walk a batter Thursday and the Clippers did not commit a defensive error.
The loss eliminated No. 12 Westerly from the tournament while the fifth-seeded Clippers advance to double-elimination play.
“Honestly they played very good defense behind her,” Luppe said. “They played errorless ball and made some good plays. Their center fielder made a Willie Mays-like over-the-shoulder catch that could have gone for a home run. We hit the ball but it was right at people.”
The hit to center Luppe was referring to was off the bat of Alyssa Valentini.
Bella Malvinni accounted for two of Westerly’s three singles; Jess Spargo hit one single.
Spargo was Westerly’s starting pitcher and the senior threw 4-1/3 innings. Spargo allowed three runs, all earned, struck out three and walked three.
Malvinni pitched the final 1-2/3 innings. Malvinni gave up five hits, four runs, three earned runs and did not walk or strikeout a batter.
Cumberland will face the winner of No. 13 Mount St. Charles and No. 4 East Providence in the eight-team double elimination format that will crown a state champion.