Softball falls twice at Stonehill to begin NE-10 Northeast Division play

EASTON, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College softball team slipped to a pair of losses during a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division doubleheader at Stonehill College, falling 10-1 in five innings in the opener before dropping an 8-3 decision in game two on Saturday at Gartland Field. The Purple Knights fall to 0-16 overall and 0-2 in the division, while the Skyhawks improve to 12-14 and 3-1.

In the first game, junior Greer Lemnah (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) picked up a hit and an RBI for Saint Michael's, classmate Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) was 1-for-2 with a run and junior Bethany Falls (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) also hit 1-for-2. Senior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) took the loss.

First-year Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) went 2-for-3 with two home runs, drove in five runs and scored twice while earning the win for Stonehill. Classmate Megan Staudle (New Windsor, N.Y./Cornwall Central) batted 2-for-3 with an RBI, while senior Kelsey Wilcox (Canterbury, Conn./Griswold) was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs. Juniors Brianna Gunter (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) and Jocelynne Morrell (West Haven, Conn./West Haven) each went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run.

Frank held the Skyhawks scoreless through the first two innings before the hosts posted six runs in the third and four more in the fourth. Brigante hit a leadoff double in the fifth frame and came around to score on a Lemnah single later in the inning. Stonehill kept the Purple Knights off the board for the rest of the contest.

Falls was 2-for-3, and sophomore Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) hit her first career home run for the visitors in game two. Seniors Lindsay Houston (Concord, N.H./Concord) and Carleen McLaughlin (Branford, Conn./Branford) each got a hit and scored, while Lemnah drove in a run. Brigante and Frank each finished with one hit. First-year Jessica Niles (Chaumont, N.Y./General Brown) struck out three batters while taking the setback, and junior Lea Gipson (Bridport, Vt./Middlebury Union) pitched one-hit scoreless ball in the final 2.2 innings.

Wilcox was 2-for-3 with two home runs, four RBIs and two runs for Stonehill, while junior Lindsay McKillop (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) went 2-for-2. Senior Courtney Marchand (Raymond, N.H./Timberlane Regional) batted 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run, and first-year Lauren Esposito (Middlefield, Conn./Coginchaug) was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a run and also earned the win.

The hosts plated two runs in the first inning and added three more in the second. The Purple Knights answered in the third frame when McLaughlin doubled to right center before Lemnah drove her home. Saint Michael's strung together three consecutive hits to begin the fourth, as Murray notched her homer, and Brigante and Houston both singled. Houston came around to score on an illegal pitch later in the inning to cut the visitors' deficit to 5-3. Stonehill scored three times in its half of the fourth to extend its advantage to 8-3.

Saint Michael's is back in action on Tuesday when it plays its home opener against Southern New Hampshire University at 3 p.m.