LEESBURG, Fla. - Senior Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) spun a five-hit shutout in the opener on Saturday, and the Saint Michael's College softball team split a pair of contests while beginning its season at The Spring Games in the Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex. Brown blanked Ursuline (Ohio) College, 3-0, before the Purple Knights fell against Queens (N.Y.) College, 8-0 in five innings.
Juniors Hayley Craddock (Campbell River, British Columbia/Carihi Secondary School/Highline) and Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) both went 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a double in the opener, with Craddock adding a stolen base in her first contest in three years, with junior college Highline (Wash.) College. Brown tossed the fifth shutout of her career while striking out 10 and walking only one. Sophomore Aleksandra Apkarian (Butler, N.J./Butler) ripped an RBI double, and classmate Julia Sevigny (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) walked twice and scored once.
With 335 career strikeouts, Brown passed Megan O'Connor '09 (328) for second in program history while matching Kara McManus '02 for fifth with 12 victories.
Senior Gina Rosshirt also allowed only five hits for 2-8 Ursuline while yielding all three runs, with two earned. She fanned nine and walked two, and was one of five Arrows to single.
Sophomore third baseman Katie Terban (Georgetown, Mass./Saint Mary's) started an inning-ending double play with runners on first and second in the top of the opening frame, and Craddock led off the home half with a ground-rule double in her first college plate appearance since May 15, 2015. With one down, Tierney singled Craddock home. Two Arrows reached with two down in the fifth before Brown induced an inning-ending popup, and Craddock came up with an RBI single in the bottom half to score Sevigny, who had drawn a four-pitch walk with two down. Akparian doubled home Tierney with one down in the sixth inning to add insurance.
Apkarian drew a walk among her two plate appearances in the nightcap, with sophomore Torie Rathwell (Guilderland, N.Y./Guilderland) carried a shutout until two were down in the fourth inning before suffering the loss after yielding five runs on seven hits in four-plus innings.
Senior southpaw ToniMarie Valeriano pitched a five-inning no-hitter for 2-2 Queens, striking out seven and walking one while batting 2-for-3. First-year Danielle D'Angelo was 2-for-3 with a run, five RBIs, a double and a home run, and classmate Jessica Hickey also went deep. First-year Ann Grimshaw hit 2-for-3 with two runs.
Senior Chandler Wilder (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) reached second base on a one-out error in the top of the first inning before being stranded, and Rathwell escaped a two-on, none-out situation unscathed in the bottom half. Catcher Tierney cut down a runner trying to steal second in the second, and the Purple Knights looked to get their first hit in the mid-innings with three consecutive balls hit back into the circle, each caught by Valeriano in the air. With two down in the fourth, Grimshaw singled before D'Angelo homered to left center to make it 2-0.
Apkarian led off the fifth with a walk, but two popups sandwiched around a groundout that allowed her to move to second ended the threat. Queens pulled away with six runs on five hits in the home half, as Hickey hit a two-run homer, another run scored on an error, and D'Angelo provided a walk-off three-run double.
The Purple Knights, who are amid a run of 12 games in seven days, head to Hancock Park in Clermont tomorrow to face Slippery Rock (Pa.) University at 2:30 p.m. and rematch with Queens at 7 p.m.