Frank tosses four-hit shutout, Purple Knights split on final day in Florida

CLERMONT, Fla. - Junior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) tossed a four-hit shutout to lead the Saint Michael's College softball team past New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), 2-0, on Friday during the Purple Knights' final game at the National Training Center Spring Games. Saint Michael's, which finished its Spring Break trip 2-6, dropped the first contest of the day to West Chester (Pa.) University, 18-0 in five innings. The Golden Rams improved to 13-9, while the Bears fell to 1-3 after their loss to the Purple and Gold.

During game one, junior Brittany Cantore (Saint Johnsbury, Vt./Saint Johnsbury Academy) walked on a full count with two out in the fourth inning, accounting for the Purple Knights' lone base runner. Four pitchers combined to yield 14 unearned runs, with sophomore Laura McCormack (Natick, Mass./Natick) allowing four earned runs in 1.2 innings to take the loss.

Junior Kate Skokowski (Pottstown, Pa./Pottsgrove) tossed the no-hitter for West Chester, striking out two and yielding the lone walk. Sophomore Kelly Anderson (Middletown, Del./Caravel Academy) had four RBIs on two hits, while three others added three RBIs and two knocks.

McCormack nearly wriggled out of a two-on, two-out jam in the first inning before the Golden Rams took a 1-0 lead, and eight more runs came around on seven hits in the second. Nine runs - all unearned - were plated on five hits and three errors in the third.

The Purple Knights scored twice in the first inning of game two to account for all of the scoring before Frank blanked the Bears, striking out one and walking one. Freshman Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) drove in the eventual winning run before sophomore Bethany Falls (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) followed with an RBI double.

Sophomores Greer Lemnah (Lyndon, Vt./Lyndon Institute) and Brittany Regis (Monroe, N.H./Saint Johnsbury Academy) led off the first inning with consecutive singles before Frank dropped down a sacrifice to move the runners along. Murray's groundout scored Lemnah, and Falls' two-bagger drove home Falls.

In the bottom half, Frank faced a two-on, one-out situation before inducing a pair of ground balls to escape the jam, and Falls started a double play from shortstop the next inning to squelch an NYIT threat. After the first two Bears reached in the third, the next two batters forced teammates out at third base with fielder's choices before Frank retired the final hitter on a fly ball. Frank set down the side 1-2-3 in the seventh to clinch the victory.

Saint Michael's heads directly into Northeast-10 Conference play on Tuesday by traveling to Merrimack College for a doubleheader that begins at 3 p.m.