Softball splits pair, Frank tosses complete game and plates walk-off winner in opener

CLERMONT, Fla. - The Saint Michael's College softball team split a doubleheader with Saint Thomas Aquinas (N.Y.) College on Tuesday at the National Training Center Spring Games, with junior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) earning a complete-game victory in addition to hitting a walk-off single during a 9-8, eight-inning win in game one before the Purple Knights dropped the nightcap, 6-0. Saint Michael's is now 1-3, while the Spartans were opening their season.

In the opener, Frank fanned three during her eight-inning effort while going 3-for-5 with two stolen bases. Sophomore Brittany Regis (Monroe, N.H./Saint Johnsbury Academy) was 2-for-3 with three runs and three steals, while junior Carleen McLaughlin (Branford, Conn./Branford) walked twice.

Junior Megan Sweezy (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) was 3-for-3 with three RBI, two runs and a home run for the Spartans, as well as working all 7.2 innings and striking out four. Freshman Rachel Hannawalt (Montgomery, N.Y./O'Neill) had two hits and three RBIs.

As the home team, the Purple Knights trailed 5-1 heading into the fourth after Sweezy hit a three-run home run in the third. Down 6-2 into the fifth, Saint Michael's knotted the contest with four runs in the frame, including when Regis stole home, and sophomore Bethany Falls' (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) suicide squeeze tied the game.

Hannawalt's two-run single in the eighth inning put Saint Thomas Aquinas back on top, 8-6, but the Purple Knights walked off in the home half. Regis provided a run-scoring single, sophomore Greer Lemnah's (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) groundout tied the game, and Frank singled with two down to plate Regis with the winning run.

In game two, sophomore Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) was 2-for-3 with a stolen base. Classmate Laura McCormack (Natick, Mass./Natick) yielded only one earned run during 4.2 innings, striking out two.

Junior Maura Power (Pearl River, N.Y./Albertus Magnus) tossed a six-hit shutout for the Spartans, striking out eight. She also batted 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, hitting a double.

Saint Thomas Aquinas plated a one-out run in the first inning before plating an unearned run in the second inning and four more to pull away in the fifth frame.

Saint Michael's is slated to break until Thursday, when it faces Limestone (S.C.) College at 1 p.m. and Minot State (N.D.) University at 3 p.m.