Frank reaches 100 hits, Cantore and McLaughlin homer in softball's opening victory

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Senior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) became the 10th player in Saint Michael's College softball history to reach 100 career hits, helping the Purple Knights split with Bentley University on Saturday, winning the first game, 6-1, before dropping the nightcap, 5-1, on Doc Jacobs Field. Saint Michael's is now 3-38 overall and 3-17 in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division play, while the Falcons are 15-26-1 and 6-13-1. The teams play a season-ending twinbill tomorrow beginning at 12 p.m.

Frank picked up her milestone hit in the fifth inning of game one, when she also earned the victory after yielding only four hits and no earned runs in a complete game. She struck out four and walked one. Senior Carleen McLaughlin (Branford, Conn./Branford) finished 2-for-2 with two runs and the first home run of her career, while classmate Brittany Cantore (Saint Johnsbury, Vt./Saint Johnsbury Academy) launched a three-run shot, her first of the season and fourth of her career. First-year Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) roped a double.

Junior Chelsea Tamuk (Port Jefferson, N.Y./Earl L. Vandermeulen) was 2-for-2 for Bentley, while sophomore Caitlin Betz (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) took the loss after allowing four earned runs on five hits in 1.1 innings.

Saint Michael's did much of its damage in the second inning, when DelGreco led off with a double off the fence in left, sophomore Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) dumped a single inside the right-field line, and Cantore knocked her go-ahead home run to straightaway center field. Two pitches later, McLaughlin made it back-to-back homers, sending the ball beyond the fence in left center.

Bentley countered with an unearned run on two hits the next inning, but Frank yielded only a walk and a single to the final 17 batters. Junior Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) scored on a wild pitch in the fifth before classmate Bethany Falls (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) plated McLaughlin with a sacrifice fly. Frank followed with a two-out single up the middle for her milestone hit.

In game two, Brigante, Frank and senior Lindsay Houston (Concord, N.H./Concord) each had hits for the hosts, while Houston also walked, and first-year Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) picked up an RBI. Classmate Jessica Niles (Chaumont, N.Y./General Brown) allowed two earned runs in seven innings, striking out four.

Junior Kelly Sanborn (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for the Falcons, while three others had two hits. Senior Carly Taitz (Blue Point, N.Y./Bayport-Blue Point) allowed no earned runs and three hits, fanning four and walking two.

The Purple Knights stranded two with two out in the first before Bentley scored twice in the second inning, going up 2-0 on sophomore Shannon Connor's (West Haven, Conn./West Haven) RBI knock. Saint Michael's brought the tying run to the plate twice in the fourth inning and three times in the fifth before loading the bases with one out in the sixth, but a double play on a potential sacrifice fly ended the threat. Three unearned runs came home for the visitors in the final frame before Barcavage's groundout plated junior Grace Bonaiuto (Beverly, Mass./Austin Preparatory School) in the home half.