Murray's walk-off single sinks Saint Anselm, Brown fires pair of gems in twinbill split

Murray's walk-off single sinks Saint Anselm, Brown fires pair of gems in twinbill split

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Senior Sarah Murray's (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) two-out RBI single in the eighth inning gave the Saint Michael's College softball team a 1-0 walk-off victory over Saint Anselm College, the defending Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division regular-season co-champion, on Thursday at Doc Jacobs Field before the Hawks took the nightcap, 1-0. The Purple Knights are 1-17 overall and 1-7 in the NE-10, while the Hawks are 16-5 and 8-3.

Murray finished 2-for-3 with her RBI in game one, while sophomore Caroline Staples (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) was also 2-for-3. First-year Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) tossed her first gem of the day by scattering eight hits and striking out a career-high eight while walking only one in eight frames.

First-year Amanda Bickford (Salem, N.H./Salem) finished 3-for-4 for Saint Anselm, while senior Hannah Byrne (Lynn, Mass./Lynn Classical) went 1-for-2 with a walk. Classmate Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine/Mattanawcook Academy) suffered just her second loss in 11 decisions, allowing six hits and one unearned run in 7.2 frames. She struck out nine and walked one.

The visitors put Bickford and Byrne in scoring position with two down in the first inning before stranding them, and sophomore second baseman Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) started an inning-ending double play in the third by snagging a line drive. The Hawks put runners at first and second with one down in both the fourth and fifth innings before Brown escaped damage. Staples singled leading off the fifth for the first Saint Michael's hit, and Saint Anselm stranded another runner in scoring position in the sixth inning.

Bickford and junior Pattie Turner (Warwick, R.I./Toll Gate) both singled with two down in the seventh inning before a fly ball ended the threat, and Saint Michael's loaded the bases with one out in the home half on consecutive singles by Murray, junior Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) and Staples, but Trask struck out the last two hitters.

After Saint Anselm went down in order in the eighth, Brazeau kicked off the hosts' rally in the bottom half with a one-out single, and sophomore Jessica Barnett's (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) sacrifice bunt was thrown away, allowing runners to reach second and third. The Hawks cut down the potential winning run at the plate on an ensuing fielder's choice grounder to produce the second out, but Murray followed by hitting a 2-1 pitch into left field for the walk-off win.

Junior Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) doubled for Saint Michael's in the nightcap, while Brown had another strong outing, yielding one run on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks during a complete game.

Bickford tripled and scored, junior Emily Crannell (Wilmington, Mass./Wilmington) turned in a sacrifice fly, and senior Kasey Moran (Medford, Mass./Medford) walked twice. Classmate Paige Cormier (Rochester, N.H./Spaulding) yielded one hit while striking out one during a complete-game shutout.

Bickford led off the game with a sinking line drive to left field that eluded the fielder and reached the fence, and Crannell came through two batters later with a sac fly for the game's only run. Moran walked with one down in the second and swiped second base one batter later but was stranded, and Brown left two more on base in the third. Moran walked again in the fourth before Murray cut her down trying to steal second, and Saint Anselm stranded two in scoring position during the sixth inning. With two down in the bottom of the seventh, DelGreco doubled to the left field gap on a 3-1 pitch to put the tying run in scoring position and give her team its first base runner, but Cormier followed by inducing a groundout.

The Purple Knights continue their eight-game, five-day homestand by hosting Merrimack College on Saturday for a 12 p.m. doubleheader.