This Week In Saint Michael's College Athletics - April 25

Contact: Tony Bonvechio - Phone: 802.654.2929

COLCHESTER, Vt. – The Saint Michael’s College men’s lacrosse team celebrated its return to the national polls with a pair of victories, while the softball squad ended the week with a dramatic walk-off win. The women’s tennis team advanced to their 12th-straight conference semifinal match, and will find out Tuesday if they qualified for their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament, while the baseball and women’s lacrosse squads lost to nationally-ranked opponents.

The 12th-ranked men’s lacrosse team (7-5, 6-2 Northeast-10 Conference) posted wins against Saint Anselm College and Pace University, and in the process clinched one of the top-four seeds in the NE-10 Tournament. As a result, Saint Michael’s has secured a home playoff game, and the Purple Knights have eclipsed last year’s win total with their seventh victory. Sophomore Pete Donnally (Madison, N.J.) led the offense with four goals and two assists on the week, leads the squad with 25 goals and 30 points, and was ranked third in the conference with 2.3 goals per game heading into Saturday. Junior Paul Tortora, Jr. (Fairfield, Conn.) netted a career-high four goals in Saturday’s win at Pace, helping the Purple Knights rally from a fourth-quarter deficit. Junior Kevin Hunt (Johnstown, N.Y.) has now scored a point in 10 straight games for the Purple Knights, who wrap up the regular season this week with league games at Bentley University on Wednesday night, and home with Assumption College in Saturday’s Senior Day on Duffy Field. 
The women’s tennis team (13-5) lost 5-2 at top-seeded and nationally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University, the eventual NE-10 Tournament champions, in Wednesday’s Semifinal match. The team advanced to the Semifinal round for the 12th straight year by virtue of the team’s 5-0 shutout of fifth-seeded Bentley University in the NE-10 Quarterfinals last Monday (April 18) on the SMC Outdoor Courts. Senior Marybeth Ash (Westborough, Mass.) won all four of her matches last week, taking wins at No. 3 singles and No. 2 doubles versus Bentley, and winning at No. 4 singles and No. 2 doubles at SNHU. The Purple Knights are currently eighth in the East region, giving the program a shot at their fourth straight NCAA Division II Tournament berth. Head coach Greg Cluff was named the NE-10 Coach of the Year for the second time in his tenure with Saint Michael’s, while senior Marran Ranks (Stratham, N.H.), junior Emily Ogilvy (Bedford, N.H.), and sophomores Emily Magee (Queensbury, N.Y.) and Jean-Marie McGrath (Niwot, Colo.) also received All-Conference recognition. Saint Michael’s awaits the NCAA Tournament pairings which will be released on Tuesday.
The softball team (5-25, 3-17 NE-10) went 1-5 last week, but wrapped up the week with a dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind victory in game two versus Southern Connecticut State University on Friday on Doc Jacobs Field. Saint Michael’s rallied from down 3-0 and scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to shock the Owls, securing the win on a walkoff base hit by senior Kelly Rose Losi (Milton, Mass.). The win snapped a 10-game losing streak for the Purple Knights, and capped a memorable Senior Day for Losi and classmates Meghan Colitti (Dover, N.H.) and Kate Condon (Holliston, Mass.). Condon went 6-for-18 last week with six runs scored, a double, a home run, and three runs batted in, while sophomore Carleen McLaughlin (Branford, Conn.) batted a team-high .500 (8-for-16) with five RBIs last week. Saint Michael’s is slated to play its final 10 games this week, the final eight of which are on the road, and ends its home schedule again the University of New Haven today (Monday) at 3 p.m. 
The baseball team (5-19) went 0-4 last week and saw their losing streak reach six games with doubleheader losses at nationally-ranked Franklin Pierce University on Thursday, and at home against Saint Lawrence University on Friday. Freshman Tyler Wild (Quaker Hill, Conn.) batting a team-high .500 (5-for-10) for the week with a triple and two RBIs. Senior Pete Estes (Bennington, Vt.) went 4-for-13 with two doubles, and junior Jesse Sullivan (Saugus, Mass.) threw three innings of scoreless relief while striking out three against Franklin Pierce. The Purple Knights have seven games on tap this week, beginning with a doubleheader at Stonehill College today (Monday), and ending with Sunday’s Senior Day doubleheader against Assumption College on Doc Jacobs Field. Saint Michael’s also hosts Plattsburgh State University on Thursday in a “Think Pink” event.
The women’s lacrosse team (2-12, 1-9 NE-10) suffered losses at nationally-ranked Merrimack College and the University of New Haven last week, which extends the team’s losing streak to six games. Senior Joan Colloton (Albany, N.Y.) and junior Eliza Scoba (Franklin, Mass.) saw their 11-game goal-scoring streaks come to an end on Saturday, but junior Sandy Palumbo (Guilford, Conn.) averaged 13 saves per game last week and still ranks in the top five nationally in that category. Saint Michael’s hosts Southern New Hampshire University and American International College this week to close the season, and will celebrate its Senior Day against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday.
Men's ice hockey senior Tully LaBelle-Hamer (Fairbanks, Alaska) was named the 2011 NE-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner for men’s ice hockey, it was announced on Wednesday. LaBelle-Hamer was selected for his excellence on the ice and in the classroom, as he skated in all 27 of the team's games and set a career high with eight points. He also has a cumulative 3.885 grade point average as an electrical engineering major, has made the Dean's List all seven semesters, and was recently named to the NE-10 Academic All-Conference Team. He is the second Purple Knight to receive the award in the last two years, following Dave Vorozilchak ’10 last year.

This Week’s Schedule:

Day - Date - Event - Time
Mon., Apr. 25 - Baseball at Stonehill (DH), 1 p.m.
Mon., Apr. 25 - Softball vs. New Haven (DH)*, 3 p.m.
Tue., Apr. 26 - Softball at Southern New Hampshire (DH)*, 3 p.m.
Tue., Apr. 26 - Women’s Lacrosse vs. Southern New Hampshire*, 4 p.m.
Wed., Apr. 27 - Baseball at Middlebury (DH), 2 p.m.                                                               Wed., Apr. 27 - Softball at Saint Rose (DH)*, 2:30 p.m.
Wed., Apr. 27 - Men’s Lacrosse at Bentley*, 7 p.m.
Thu., Apr. 28 - Baseball vs. Plattsburgh (Think Pink!), 3:30 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 30 - Softball at American International (DH)*, 1 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 30 - Women’s Lacrosse vs. American International* (Senior Day!), 1 p.m.
Sat., Apr. 30 - Men’s Lacrosse vs. Assumption* (Senior Day!), 4 p.m.
Sun., May 1 - Softball at Assumption (DH)*, 12 p.m.
Sun., May 1 - Baseball vs. Assumption (DH) (Senior Day!), 1 p.m.