NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College softball team held a late lead in game two over Merrimack College before succumbing to a doubleheader sweep, 8-0 in five innings and 2-1, on Saturday at the Warrior Softball Diamond during Northeast-10 Conference action. The Purple Knights are 1-16 overall, 1-8 in the NE-10 and 0-3 in the Northeast Division, while the Warriors moved to 12-16, 5-5 and 5-5.
Senior Greer Lemnah (Lyndon Center, Vt./Lyndon Institute) was 2-for-3 in the opener for Saint Michael's, which kicked off a stretch of 17 games in 12 days, including nine in the next five. First-year Jessica Barnett (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) added a knock, and senior Laura McCormack (Natick, Mass./Natick) allowed five earned runs in 3.1 innings to take the loss.
First-year Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Mass./Saint Mary's) was 3-for-3 with two runs, three RBIs, two doubles and a home run for Merrimack. Sophomore Alexis Perry (Westford, Vt./Essex) spun a three-hit shutout.
Senior Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas/Plano East) hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first for all of the offense the Warriors needed, and Finigan's RBI double the following inning came as part of a two-run frame. The Purple Knights loaded the bases with no one out in the third, but Perry got a strikeout before inducing a fielder's choice grounder and a pop-up to end the frame. Finigan's two-run homer capped a four-run fourth for the hosts.
Sophomore Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) was 2-for-3 with an RBI in game two for the Purple Knights, and Lemnah was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run. Senior Lea Gipson (Bridport, Vt./Middlebury Union) allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, striking out three and walking two.
Finigan and senior Ashley Perry (Winchendon, Mass./Murdock Middle) swatted solo home runs for the Warriors, and first-year Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass./Burlington) notched the win after firing 1.2 innings of shutout relief.
Merrimack put runners at second and third with two down in the first before Gipson induced a groundout, and the Purple Knights put together their first threat in the sixth inning. Lemnah led off with a walk, moved up on senior Amanda Brigante's (Colchester, Vt./Colchester) third sacrifice of the twinbill, and scored two batters later on DelGreco's RBI knock. However, Finigan led off the home half with a home run, and Ashley Perry went deep two batters later. Saint Michael's went down in order in the seventh.
Saint Michael's completes its three-game series with Merrimack tomorrow at 12 p.m. before opposing Stonehill College at 4:30 p.m. for a neutral-site contest on the Warrior Softball Diamond.