Rathwell spins shutout, Barbato registers key hit as softball splits NE10 twinbill

Rathwell spins shutout, Barbato registers key hit as softball splits NE10 twinbill

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team swapped shutouts with Saint Anselm College during a twinbill split on Tuesday at Doc Jacobs Field, with the Purple Knights losing the opener, 8-0, before taking a 2-0 decision in the nightcap. The Purple and Gold remained fifth in the Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division at 6-17 overall, 6-8 in the league and 5-7 in the division, while the third-place Hawks are 10-13, 8-7 and 7-4. Saint Michael's capped a stretch of 12 games in 10 days while moving to 5-6 since April 9.

In the first contest, junior Chandler Wilder (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) was 1-for-2, senior Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) walked, and sophomore Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) was hit by a pitch. Junior Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) took the loss after allowing all six runs, five of which were earned, in 3.1 innings. She struck out three. Sophomore Anna Meusel (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro-Regional) tossed 3.2 frames of relief, allowing two unearned runs.

Junior Shannon McLaughlin led Saint Anselm by going 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs, while classmate Megan Murrell's 2-for-4 day included two runs, two RBIs and a home run. Senior Sam Hennequin spun a one-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts and one walk.

Murrell's two-out, two-run home run in the first gave Hennequin all the offense she would need. Tierney led off the bottom of the frame by being hit by a pitch before each of the next three batters, each of which represented the tying run, was retired, including two on strikes. Wilder's one-out single up the middle in the third was the lone Purple Knight hit, as the next batter popped up and the final one went down on strikes. Saint Anselm broke out with four runs in the fourth, with McLaughlin's two-run single the big blow. Two unearned runs scored in the seventh.

Senior Danielle Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) was 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the second contest, ripping a two-run single in the third that accounted for the only runs of the game. Brazeau was 2-for-3 with a run, and first-year Torie Rathwell (Guilderland, N.Y./Guilderland) went 1-for-2 with a run, a walk and a double. She also tossed her first collegiate shutout, scattered five hits while striking out two and walking none. Murrell was 2-for-3, while Hennequin took the loss after yielding both runs on four hits in three frames. She struck out three.

Saint Michael's put runners at the corners with one down in the first before stranding both, and Rathwell left two Hawks in scoring position in the second. The Purple Knights cracked the scoreboard in the third. Brazeau singled with one out and moved to third on Rathwell's double, and both came home on Barbato's single to left center.

Murrell led off the following inning with a single, but second baseman Brazeau backhanded an ensuing grounder from her knees and gloved the ball to shortstop Barbato, who completed the threat-ending double play with a toss to first. With two Purple Knights on and one down in the fifth, the visitors induced an inning-ending twin killing. First-year Maggie Murphy doubled with two out in the sixth, but the final batter flew out. A two-out error allowed Saint Anselm to bring the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but Rathwell got the last hitter to tap back to the circle.

The Purple Knights visit Stonehill College for a three-game series this weekend, beginning with a 12 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday.