Softball grabs lead in both ends of twinbill with 22nd-ranked Southern Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Saint Michael's College softball team led 22nd-ranked Southern Connecticut State University in both ends of a Sunday doubleheader before dropping a pair of five-inning affairs, 10-1 and 10-2, during Northeast-10 Conference play at Pelz Field. The Purple Knights are now 3-15 overall and 1-9 in the league, while the Owls, whose ranking is according to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), are 21-3 and 9-1.

Sophomores Bethany Falls (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) and Greer Lemnah (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) each had two Purple Knight hits in the opener, with Falls doubling and scoring. Classmate Brittany Regis (Monroe, N.H./Saint Johnsbury Academy) had a hit and a walk, and junior Brittany Cantore (Saint Johnsbury, Vt./Saint Johnsbury Academy) provided an RBI. Classmate Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) took the loss.

Junior Stacy Pouliot (Mystic, Conn./Fitch) was 3-for-3 with two runs for the Owls, while senior Shawna Mallory (Simi Valley, Calif./Royal) and junior Brittany Bucko (Wallington, N.J./Paramus Catholic) each had two hits, two runs and two RBIs. Bucko also homered. Sophomore Christina Boehn (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic) picked up the win, yielding six hits.

Each team had an opportunity to break through during a scoreless first inning, as Regis and Lemnah led off with consecutive singles for Saint Michael's, and Bucko singled to begin Southern Connecticut State's frame but was erased on a 5-3-5 double play. The visitors broke through in the second, with Falls doubling and later coming home on Cantore's sacrifice fly. However, the Owls countered with four runs on five hits in the home half and four more on four hits in the third, when Bucko hit a two-run homer. Pouliot's two-out RBI double capped a two-run fourth.

Lemnah doubled and scored in the nightcap, freshman Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) had a hit and an RBI, and sophomore Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) also roped a two-bagger. Frank provided an RBI while dropping down two sacrifice bunts. Sophomore Laura McCormack (Natick, Mass./Natick) was the losing hurler.

Junior Kristin Whitley (North Andover, Mass./North Andover) went 4-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs for the hosts, and classmate Alyssa Downs (Seymour, Conn./Seymour) homered while scoring twice and driving in three. Senior Jayme Larson (Aurora, Colo./Smoky Hill) allowed two runs on three hits in four innings for the victory.

Regis walked to lead off the game, stole second before moving to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Frank's suicide squeeze. The Owls immediately grabbed the lead for good in the bottom portion, with Whitley's RBI knock tying the game and Downs following with a two-run home run as the next batter.

Lemnah doubled and scored on Murray's one-out single in the fourth, bringing Saint Michael's within 3-2, and Brigante's two-out double put a pair in scoring position before Larson fanned the final batter. Southern Connecticut State pulled away with four runs on three hits in the bottom half, and three more were plated on two hits in the fifth, with the clinching run scoring on a bases-loaded walk with one out.

The Purple Knights host the University of Massachusetts at Lowell for a Tuesday doubleheader at 3 p.m.