Softball drops pair to conference foe Franklin Pierce, 5-1 and 2-1

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team lost a pair of contests on Wednesday to Franklin Pierce University, 5-1 and 2-1, at Doc Jacobs Field. The Purple Knights are now 2-37 overall and 2-16 in the Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division, as the opening game counted toward divisional records, while the Ravens are 8-26 and 4-12.

In the opener, first-year Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) doubled home senior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex), who held Franklin Pierce off the board until the sixth inning as the Purple Knights' starting pitcher. Frank allowed three earned runs while striking out three and walking three.

Sophomore Alicia Dean (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, two doubles, a walk and a run for the visitors, and classmate Karissa Forzese (Methuen, Mass./Central Catholic) went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Senior Rachel Allen (Hull, Mass./Hull) yielded four hits during a complete-game victory.

Neither pitcher allowed a hit until the fourth inning, when the Ravens left the bases loaded. In the sixth, back-to-back one-out doubles, including one by Dean, made it 2-0 in favor of Franklin Pierce, and Forzese added a two-out RBI single. Dean padded the lead with a two-out, two-run double in the seventh. DelGreco plated Frank with a one-out double in the home half, but the Purple Knights left runners at the corners to end the game.

In game two, junior Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) had a hit and an RBI, while senior Carleen McLaughlin (Branford, Conn./Branford) went 1-for-2 with a run. DelGreco and Frank added hits behind first-year Jessica Niles (Chaumont, N.Y./General Brown), who yielded only one earned run in seven innings, striking out four.

First-year Tricia Hansen (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) went 2-for-3 for the Ravens, while Dean had her team's lone RBI. First-year Mandi Adee (Kinderhook, N.Y./Ichabod Crane) allowed one run on four hits, striking out two and walking one.

McLaughlin singled with one down in the home half of the third before moving to second on a wild pitch and ultimately coming around on Brigante's two-out single through the box. Niles yielded only three singles in the opening five innings before Franklin Pierce scored its runs in the sixth. With runners at second and third and one out, Dean's infield ground ball allowed the tying run to score, but an ensuing miscue brought home the second run. Saint Michael's had the winning run at the plate with one down in the bottom of the seventh, but a line-drive double play ended the game.

The Purple Knights finish the season by hosting Bentley University for four games this weekend. A Saturday twinbill begins at 12 p.m.