Softball drops pair of close contests with Franklin Pierce, 5-2 and 4-2

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team completed a four-game weekend by narrowly dropping a pair of Northeast-10 Conference contests to Franklin Pierce University, 5-2 and 4-2, on Sunday at Doc Jacobs Field. The Purple Knights are now 3-11 overall and 1-5 in the league, as five setbacks have been by three runs or fewer. The Ravens began their Northern slate by moving to 5-8 and 3-1.

Freshman Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) went 2-for-3 with an RBI, a run and a double in the opener for the hosts. Junior Brittany Cantore (Saint Johnsbury, Vt./Saint Johnsbury Academy) drove in a run, and sophomore Brittany Regis (Monroe, N.H./Saint Johnsbury Academy) scored once. Junior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) yielded five earned runs while striking out two during seven innings.

Sophomore Jamie Wiley (Cape Vincent, N.Y./Thousand Island) had two hits and three RBIs for the Ravens, while junior Jessica Furtado (Taunton, Mass./Taunton) added two hits and two RBIs. Freshman Jessica Colson (Feeding Hills, Mass./Agawam) yielded two runs in four frames for the win before classmate Kaitlyn Johnson (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown) tossed three no-hit, shutout innings of relief and earned the save.

Murray doubled and scored on Cantore's two-out single in the second to put the hosts ahead, but Furtado and Wiley had two-run hits in the third to produce a 4-1 advantage for the Ravens. Murray's two-out RBI base hit in the home half closed the gap before Wiley countered with a two-out RBI single of her own in the fifth.

Sophomore Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the nightcap, classmates Bethany Falls (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) and Greer Lemnah (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) both had a hit and a run, and Cantore doubled. Sophomore Laura McCormack (Natick, Mass./Natick) allowed two earned runs in four innings, fanning four, before Frank tossed three shutout frames, retiring the final seven batters she faced.

Freshman Laura Eidam (Stamford, Conn./John Jay) was 3-for-3 with three RBIs for Franklin Pierce, senior Jamie Verner (Natick, Mass./Natick) picked up two hits with a run, and junior Rachel Allen (Hull, Mass./Hull) yielded one earned run with six strikeouts during a complete-game victory.

Single runs in the second and third innings staked the visitors to a 2-0 lead before Falls scored on a fourth-inning error, and Cantore doubled with two down but was stranded. Eidam's two-out, two-run single in the fifth pushed her team's advantage to 4-1, but the Purple Knights threatened in each of the final two innings, putting six runners on base. Brigante's RBI knock in the sixth produced a two-run margin, but Franklin Pierce turned an inning-ending double play. In the seventh, consecutive batters reached on one-out errors, but Allen induced a tapper to the circle before fanning the final hitter.

The Purple Knights continue a three-doubleheader homestand on Wednesday by hosting Southern New Hampshire University at 3 p.m.