Softball earns Senior Day split with Bentley, sixth-inning rally aides opening victory

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team put together a pair of sixth-inning rallies on Sunday, ultimately splitting a doubleheader with Bentley University during Senior Day at Doc Jacobs Field. In the opener, which counted toward the Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division standings, the Purple Knights plated all of their runs in the sixth inning of a 3-1 win. The nightcap went to the visitors, 3-1 in eight innings. Saint Michael's finished the year 4-39 overall and 4-25 in the division, while the Falcons moved to 16-27-1 and 9-19-1.

Senior Stephanie Frank (Essex, Vt./Essex) was 2-for-3 with a run and the go-ahead RBI for the hosts in the opener, as well as allowing no earned runs and striking out four during a complete-game victory. Junior Amanda Brigante (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) and first-year Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) also had one hit and RBI apiece. With the victory, Saint Michael's won the three-game divisional series, having also split two Saturday contests.

Junior Kelly Sanborn (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) was 2-for-3 for Bentley, and senior Carly Taitz (Blue Point, N.Y./Bayport-Blue Point) allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out three.

First-year Alex Borrelli (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic) led off the second inning with a single before scoring on a two-out error to put Bentley up 1-0, but Purple Knight senior right fielder Brittany Cantore (Saint Johnsbury, Vt./Saint Johnsbury Academy) limited a fourth-inning scoring chance by cutting down a potential run at the plate. With the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, a Falcon tapped the ball back to the circle, where Frank started a 1-2-3 double play.

After the hosts picked up only one hit in the first 5.1 innings - a Frank single in the fourth - first-year pinch-hitter Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) singled with one down in the sixth before Brigante, Frank and DelGreco all followed with two-out RBI knocks. Frank worked around a one-out single in the seventh to seal the win.

In game two, Brigante finished 2-for-4, Frank singled home a run, and Cantore doubled. Junior Greer Lemnah (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) singled and scored, and senior Lauren Mercik (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) turned in one of the finest performances of her career, allowing three runs during eight innings while striking out two and not walking a batter. The start was just the ninth of her career, as she posted her third complete game.

Senior Erica Thibodeau (Cohoes, N.Y./Shaker) hit a two-run home run for Bentley in the top of the eighth inning, and sophomore Shannon Connor (West Haven, Conn./West Haven) finished 3-for-4 with a run. First-year Halley McDevitt (San Ramon, Calif./San Ramon Valley) went 2-for-3 with an RBI while also earning the win, tossing 2.2 innings of two-hit, shutout relief.

McDevitt's two-out RBI single gave the visitors a 1-0 edge in the second inning, and the Purple Knights picked up only one hit and had just two base runners prior to a sixth-inning comeback. With one out, Lemnah, Brigante and Frank rapped consecutive singles, with Frank's plating Lemnah to tie the game. Cantore led off the seventh with a double to the fence in center, and the potential winning run reached third base with one out before a line-drive double play ended the threat.

In the eighth, Thibodeau knocked a one-out, two-run home run to left field. Brigante singled with one out in the home portion of the inning, but McDevitt retired the next batter.

Prior to the games, the Purple Knights held a ceremony to honor their five seniors, Cantore, Frank, Mercik, Lindsay Houston (Concord, N.H./Concord) and Carleen McLaughlin (Branford, Conn./Branford).