Strong pitching limits Bentley, Purple Knights fall twice in NE-10 twinbill

WALTHAM, Mass. - Saint Michael's College softball junior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) and sophomore Laura McCormack (Natick, Mass./Natick) combined to hold Bentley University to five runs on nine hits on Wednesday, though the Purple Knights were swept, 3-0 and 2-1, during Northeast-10 Conference play at the Bentley softball field. Saint Michael's is 5-21 overall and 3-15 in the NE-10, while the Falcons are 8-20 and 6-14.

Frank held the hosts off the board until the third inning in the opener, finishing with a six-hitter while striking out two. Junior Lindsay Houston (Concord, N.H./Concord) and sophomores Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) and Greer Lemnah (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) each had hits.

Sophomore Jackie Gauthier (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) was a double short of the cycle for Bentley, going 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. The rest of the team was 3-for-21 with one run and one RBI against Frank. Freshman Caitlin Betz (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) struck out six during her three-hit shutout.

Brigante singled to lead off the game but was the lone base runner to reach beginning an inning. Bentley stranded two in the bottom half before Gauthier hit an RBI triple and scored in a two-run third. Her inside-the-park solo homer with two down in the fifth accounted for the remainder of the game's runs.

During the nightcap, junior Brittany Cantore's (Saint Johnsbury, Vt./Saint Johnsbury Academy) seventh-inning RBI double knotted the contest before Bentley walked off with the win. Sophomore Bethany Falls (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) was 2-for-3, while Houston singled and scored. McCormack allowed one earned run on three hits in 6.1 innings, striking out two and walking a pair.

Sophomore Chelsea Tamuk (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Vandermeulen) hit the game-winning single for Bentley, while senior Megan Blier (Wells, Maine/Wells) and sophomore Samantha Tierney (Wappingers Falls, N.Y./Ketcham) each singled and scored. Junior Carly Taitz (Blue Point, N.Y./Bayport-Blue Point) struck out four and walked one.

Frank walked with one down in the second inning, stole second and moved to third on the second out before being stranded, and McCormack worked around two third-inning walks thanks to a strikeout and an inning-ending groundout.

Tierney led off the fifth with a single before scoring on a one-out infield error, and Brigante and Falls each singled in the sixth while looking to put their team on the board but were left on base. However, Houston singled with one down in the seventh, and Cantore ripped a game-tying double to left field. Junior Carleen McLaughlin (Branford, Conn./Branford) followed with a single to put runners at the corners, but Taitz fanned the next batter before inducing a pop-up.

In the home half, Blier began the frame with a single, moved to second on Tierney's sacrifice and scored on Tamuk's single to center field.

Saint Michael's continues an eight-game road swing at Pace University for a 12 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.