Softball falls to No. 24 Southern New Hampshire and drops 11-7 slugfest with Saint Anselm

Softball falls to No. 24 Southern New Hampshire and drops 11-7 slugfest with Saint Anselm

MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Michael's College softball team continued a run of 10 games in five days with a pair of losses on Tuesday at Southern New Hampshire University's Penmen Field, as the Purple Knights suffered a 6-0 loss to the 24th-ranked Penmen and an 11-7 setback to Saint Anselm College. Saint Michael's is 2-24 overall and 2-14 in the Northeast-10 Conference, Southern New Hampshire moved to 24-6 and 13-3, while the Hawks are 20-7 and 11-5. The Penmen are ranked nationally by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Southern New Hampshire is first in the NE-10 Northeast Division standings, while Saint Anselm stands second.

In the opener, sophomore Jessica Barnett (Essex Junction, Vt./Essex) was 1-for-2 with a sacrifice bunt for the Purple Knights, and classmate Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) added a hit. First-year Leah Hanzas (Bradford, Vt./Oxbow) took the loss after tossing a complete game. She struck out one.

Senior Holly Eicher (Stoneham, Mass./Stoneham) was 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and a home run for the Penmen, who played the visiting team on their own field. First-year Sarah Lavallee (Candia, N.H./Central) went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two doubles, junior Mo Hannan (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) went 3-for-4, and classmate Lindsey Bolduc (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) homered. Senior Ali Maloof (Norwood, Mass./Norwood) stole a pair of bases while striking out 12 and allowing only one hit during five innings to corral the win.

Lavallee picked up an RBI double in the second inning before coming home on Hannan's two-out single later in the frame. After Bolduc knocked a solo home run the following inning, Lavallee came through later in the inning with a two-out RBI double that made it 4-0. Brazeau led off the Purple Knight fourth with a single to become her team's first base runner before being stranded at second base, and Eicher's two-out, two-run homer in the fifth capped the scoring.

Sophomore Danielle Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) went 3-for-4 with two runs against Saint Anselm, as the Purple Knights picked up season highs with seven runs, 15 hits and four extra-base knocks. Classmate Caroline Staples (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) was also 3-for-4 with an RBI and a double, Brazeau finished 3-for-5 with a run, an RBI and a double, and junior Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) was 2-for-4 with two runs and a double. First-year Chandler Wilder (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) went 2-for-4 with a run, and senior Sarah Murray (Wallingford, Conn./Sheehan) doubled and drove in two. First-year Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) tossed a complete game, striking out two and walking three.

Junior Julie LeClair (Taunton, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy) had a 3-for-4 day with three runs, two RBIs and one of Saint Anselm's three home runs. Classmate Michaela Criscione (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a dinger, and first-year Megan Murrell (Scarborough, Maine/Scarborough) also homered while going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Sophomore Sam Hennequin (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) earned the win with two innings of relief, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out three.

Murray's two-run double staked the Purple Knights to a first-inning edge, and Brazeau's RBI two-bagger made it 3-0 with two down in the second. First-year Hannah Paitchel (Pelham, N.H./Pelham) doubled home a pair to begin a two-out, three-run rally in the bottom half that tied the game, but Staples roped a two-out RBI double in the third to put the visitors back on top, and Barnett's run-scoring bunt single pushed the lead to 5-3 in the fourth.

LeClair swatted a tying two-run homer in the fifth, and the Hawks plated six runs on five hits in the sixth inning to break the game open. Murrell's two-run homer snapped the deadlock, and Criscione's two-run home run with two down concluded the scoring. Saint Michael's chipped away in the seventh, as Barbato scored on a wild pitch and sophomore Sarah Bagley's (Concord, Mass./Concord-Carlisle) groundout made it 11-7, but the tying run never came to the plate.

The Purple Knights complete their home schedule tomorrow by taking on Franklin Pierce University for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.