Brown and Staples key Purple Knights' victory, help squad split twinbill with AIC

Brown and Staples key Purple Knights' victory, help squad split twinbill with AIC

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Junior Caroline Staples' (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) two-out, two-run double in the sixth inning broke a scoreless tie, helping the Saint Michael's College softball team down American International College, 2-1, during a doubleheader split on Thursday at Groff Field. The Yellow Jackets won the nightcap, 5-1. The Purple Knights moved to 2-14 overall and 1-5 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while AIC is 10-11 and 4-6.

Staples finished with the hit and two RBIs in the opener for the visitors, and junior Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) had a hit and scored a run. Sophomore Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) tossed a complete-game gem, allowing one unearned run on three singles while striking out six and walking none. Including the second contest of the day, Saint Michael's now has four victories in 28 all-time games at AIC.

Senior Jorrdin Miller was 1-for-3 with a run and a stolen base for the hosts, and junior Alyssa Camargo locked up in a pitcher's duel with Brown, ultimately allowing two unearned runs on five hits in seven innings. She also struck out six and did not walk a batter.

Sophomore Jamie Mainez was the Yellow Jackets' lone base runner in the first five innings, singling with two down in the first and being hit by a pitch in the second, and Camargo set down 13 of the first 14 batters, as the Purple Knights were not credited with their first hit until first-year Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) singled with one down in the fifth. A fielder's choice grounder and a strikeout ended the threat.

In the sixth inning of a scoreless game, Brazeau singled with one out and senior Jenna Maksian (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt. Both runners moved up on junior Danielle Barbato's (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) groundout before Staples doubled to right center to make it 2-0. The Purple Knights left two on in the seventh, and AIC rallied in the home half. Miller led off with a single and stole second before moving to third on an error. First-year Kaley Kempf followed with a sacrifice fly but reached when her fly ball was dropped, advancing to second on the miscue with no one out while producing a 2-1 score. However, Brown induced consecutive line-drive outs to senior first baseman Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane) before getting the final hitter to fly out to Staples in right field.

Barbato was 1-for-3 with an RBI in game two, Brazeau walked twice and scored, and sophomore Chandler Wilder (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) was 1-for-2 while being hit by a pitch. First-year Molly Feeney (Valhalla, N.Y./John F. Kennedy Catholic) took the loss after allowing five runs - all unearned - on five hits in 2.1 innings. Brown allowed one hit during 3.2 frames of shutout relief.

Sophomore Alexa DiLeo and first-year Kayla Riley both had a hit and an RBI for AIC, with Riley also drawing a walk. Sophomore Sarah Beliveau allowed one run on four hits during a complete-game effort. She struck out five and walked three.

Brazeau led off the game with a walk and scored on Barbato's bases-loaded, two-out single, but Beliveau escaped the jam with a groundout, as just four of the final 22 Purple Knights reached base. Riley's RBI single plated an unearned run in the second inning, and four runs came around on three hits and four errors in the third. Brown came out of the bullpen to strike out her first batter, as she retired 10 of the 12 Yellow Jackets she faced.

Saint Michael's opens its home slate by hosting 2015 NCAA Tournament qualifier Pace University on Saturday for a 10 a.m. doubleheader.