Purple Knights earn first twinbill sweep of season, Frank hurls back-to-back complete games

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team received back-to-back complete games from junior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) and held off rallies in both contests to sweep American International College (AIC), 2-1 and 4-3, on Friday in Northeast-10 Conference play at Doc Jacobs Field. The Purple and Gold, which swept AIC for the first time since 2005, snaps an 11-game skid and is 5-17 overall and 3-11 in the league. The Yellow Jackets fall to 8-18 and 4-12.

In game one, Frank struck out four while allowing six hits, including just two during the first 4.1 innings. Freshman Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) had a two-RBI double, sophomore Greer Lemnah (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) singled and scored, and classmate Brittany Regis (Monroe, N.H./Saint Johnsbury Academy) singled and stole a base.

Senior Kristen Dolan (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) finished with nine strikeouts in six innings for AIC while allowing three hits and two runs. Sophomore Haley Marchand (Swansea, Mass./Joseph Case) knocked in the lone run with a double, while junior Stephanie Belanger (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) also doubled.

The Yellow Jackets put their first batter of the game on base, but Frank sat down 15 of the next 18. The Purple Knights did not get a runner on base until the fourth inning, when Regis led off with a single and stole second. Lemnah followed with a single before Murray's two-run double gave Saint Michael's the lead for good.

The visitors scored their lone run in the sixth inning, as Marchand connected on an RBI double. The Yellow Jackets threatened in the seventh, as the potential tying run reached base leading off and advanced to second base with two down, but Frank fanned the final batter to secure the win.

During game two, Frank allowed two earned runs while not walking or striking out a single batter. Murray went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a double, sophomore Bethany Falls (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) was 2-for-3, and classmate Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) scored twice.

Junior Elizabeth Habib (Methuen, Mass./Central Catholic) took the loss for the visitors, tossing three innings, striking out four and allowing four runs, while classmate Erin St. Pierre (South Berwick, Maine/Marshwood) was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. Belanger was also 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

The visitors took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Belanger ripped an RBI double with two down, but the Purple Knights responded in the home half, as Brigante and Lemnah walked to begin the inning before an error plated one and Murray's RBI single made it 2-1. Murray hit an RBI double in the third, followed by junior Lindsay Houston (Concord, N.H./Concord) drawing a bases-loaded walk with two outs.

The Yellow Jackets cut into their deficit during the fourth inning, as Belanger scored off of a St. Pierre single, and St. Pierre homered leading off the seventh inning to make it 4-3. The next batter, the potential tying run, reached on an error before advancing to second with one down and third with two down, but Brigante made a fine two-out play at second base to end the game, keeping the ball in front of her and throwing to Houston at first base just in time to record the final out.

The Purple Knights host Assumption College on Monday for a twinbill starting at 3 p.m.