CLERMONT, Fla. - Senior Danielle Brown's (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) one-hit shutout highlighted the Saint Michael's College softball team's two-game split on Thursday during its final day at The Spring Games at Hancock Field. The Purple Knights finished 3-7 during their annual Spring Break training trip, falling to Northwood (Mich.) College, 4-1, in game one before blanking Jefferson (Pa.) University, 3-0.
Junior Hayley Craddock (Campbell River, British Columbia/Carihi Secondary School/Highline) finished 2-for-4 in the opener, senior Chandler Wilder (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) was 1-for-2 with a walk, and sophomore Julia Sevigny (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) slugged a double. Classmate Sarah Wight (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) had her first college hit, and sophomore Torie Rathwell (Guilderland, N.Y./Guilderland) took the complete-game loss after allowing four runs on 10 hits. She struck out and walked two.
Senior Brooke Wauters was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for 8-5 Northwood while classmate Sydni Pauley went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, as each hit a home run. First-year Shayna Frank yielded a run on six hits in five innings with five strikeouts to earn the win, and redshirt first-year Taylor Wright worked a pair of shutout frames with four strikeouts to pick up the save.
Wilder and Rathwell both singled but were left on during the top of the first inning, and the Timberwolves scored three runs on five hits in the home half, with Pauley launching a two-run homer and Wauters providing a two-out RBI single. Rathwell yielded only five hits over the final 5.1 innings.
Sevigny was stranded after doubling with two out in the second, but the Purple Knights cut the deficit to 3-1 in the fifth when Tierney singled home Wight with two down. Craddock and Tierney then moved up 60 feet apiece on a wild pitch but advanced no further. Another Purple Knight was left in scoring position in the sixth, and Wauters led off the home half with a home run before Rathwell worked out of a bases-loaded situation.
In the nightcap, Brown faced just two batters over the minimum while carrying a perfect game into the fifth inning. The one hit she allowed was a clean double, as she fanned nine while tying Kara McManus '02 for second in program history in career shutouts (6) and matching SMC Athletic Hall of Famer Marybeth Sonski Marquardt '80 for fourth in wins (14). The Purple Knights downed Jefferson, the former Philadelphia University, for the first time in seven meetings, all coming in Clermont since 2009. Rathwell finished 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI, while junior Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk.
Junior Courtney Wensel doubled for 4-8 Jefferson, and classmate Naomi Stas allowed just one earned run on six hits in a complete-game loss. She struck out two and walked three.
Brown set down the first 12 batters she faced, including six on strikes, before Wensel doubled to the fence leading off the fifth. In the meantime, Rathwell led off with a double in the second but was stranded before the Purple Knights scored twice with two down in the third, with Tierney singling home the winning run and Rathwell doubling in another. Brown left Wensel at second before Saint Michael's loaded the bases with two down in a scoreless home half, but Craddock's RBI groundout made it 3-0 in the sixth, scoring junior pinch runner Anna Meusel (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro Regional). Brown worked around an error in a four-batter seventh.
With their Florida swing complete, the Purple Knights are scheduled to begin their Northern slate next Wednesday by hosting No. 20 Southern New Hampshire University for a 3 p.m. twinbill. The Penmen's national ranking is according to the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll.