Saint Michael's softball swept during third tripleheader in three years

Saint Michael's softball swept during third tripleheader in three years

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team was swept in an impromptu tripleheader during Senior Day on Sunday, losing to Merrimack College, 8-1, in the opener at Doc Jacobs Field before dropping both ends of a twinbill with Bentley University, 6-4 and 8-0 in six innings. The Purple Knights are now 2-21 overall and 2-11 in the Northeast-10 Conference after moving up one of their two regularly-scheduled Monday games against Bentley to Sunday due to forecasted inclement weather. Merrimack is 16-22 and 9-11, while the Falcons are 9-14 and 6-8.

Saint Michael's ostensibly played a tripleheader for the third consecutive season, having hosted Merrimack for three contests on April 14, 2013, and headed to Bentley for a trio on April 27, 2014, though the opening pitch was thrown the prior day. During each of the three tripleheaders, senior Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) caught every inning.

In game one on Sunday, junior Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) was 2-for-4 for the Purple Knights while also suffering the loss after yielding eight runs in 1.2 innings. Classmate Jenna Maksian (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) was 1-for-2 with a run, a triple and a walk, and junior Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) also went 1-for-2 while being hit by a pitch. First-year Leah Hanzas (Bradford, Vt./Oxbow) tossed 5.1 shutout innings during which time she scattered four hits.

Junior Alexis Perry (Westford, Vt./Essex) turned in a 2-for-2 performance with two runs, two RBIs and a double for Merrimack while also tossing a pair of shutout innings to begin the game. Sophomore Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Conn./Haddam-Killingworth) was 2-for-3 with a run, senior Stephanie Lapierre (Berlin, Conn./Berlin) drove in two runs, and sophomore Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass./Burlington) earned the win as the second of three pitchers, striking out three during two scoreless innings. First-year Courtney Zambello (Sharon, Mass./Cardinal Spellman) worked the three-inning save.

Merrimack scored all eight of its runs on eight hits during the first two innings, with Perry's two-run double highlighting a five-run first and three more Warriors coming home with two down in the second. Hanzas worked around a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fourth unscathed, and the hosts avoided the mercy rule when Maksian led off the fifth with a triple and scored on a two-out wild pitch, just sliding her hand across the plate to beat a close throw from the backstop.

Sophomore Jessica Barnett (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, a double and a walk in the first contest with Bentley, Barcavage doubled and drove in a run, and sophomore Danielle Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) was 1-for-2 with a run, a double and a sacrifice bunt. First-year Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) struck out five while allowing six earned runs during a complete-game effort.

Sophomore Kelsey Smith (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant) was 3-for-4 with one run, two RBIs, a double and a home run for the Falcons, senior Shannon Connor (West Haven, Conn./West Haven) went 3-for-4 with two runs and a triple, and sophomore Chelsea Vena (Matawan, N.J./Saint John Vianney) finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Junior Kelly Ferris (Seymour, Conn./Seymour) yielded four earned runs over seven innings while striking out five and walking two.

Barnett's two-out, two-run double just over the center fielder's glove gave Saint Michael's a 2-0 edge in the second inning, and Barbato danced around the catcher's tag to score on sophomore Sarah Bagley's (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) groundout in the fourth, making it 3-0. Meanwhile, Brown retired the first eight Falcons and carried a two-hit shutout into the fifth before Smith led off with a home run. Four more runs came around the next inning, with Vena's two-out, two-run single breaking a tie and giving Bentley a 5-3 lead. Smith and Barcavage each provided a two-out RBI double for their teams in the seventh inning, but the only Saint Michael's batter to represent the tying run popped out to the catcher.

Bagley went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice and a stolen base in game three, Barbato and sophomore Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) both walked, and Barcavage again was hit by a pitch. Brown took the loss after yielding six earned runs in five-plus innings.

Vena was 2-for-4 with three runs, a double and a triple, and sophomore Kelsey Kennedy (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBIs. Connor and junior Alex Borrelli (Salem, N.H./Central Catholic) were both 2-for-4, with Connor scoring twice and Borrelli joining first-year Catie Noons (North Dighton, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) in driving in two runs. Smith spun a one-hit shutout, striking out eight and walking two during six innings.

Vena led off the game by reaching on an error before scoring on a two-out miscue for the only run Bentley would need, and Smith and Borrelli came through with consecutive two-out RBI singles in the third. Saint Michael's brought the tying run to the plate three times in the home half, as first-year Chandler Wilder (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) reached on an error and Bagley beat out an infield single to begin the frame, but Smith proceeded to strike out the side. Kennedy added RBI singles in the fourth and the sixth, with Noons adding a two-run triple in a four-run sixth.

Both of the Purple Knights' seniors were honored during a ceremony prior to the games, with Murray and Sara St. Don (Lakeville, Mass./Apponequet Regional) being recognized for their contributions to the program.

Saint Michael's and Bentley complete their three-game set with a single game tomorrow at 3 p.m.