NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College softball team yielded only a third-inning run while falling short in an upset bid of 19th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University, 1-0, on Monday during Northeast-10 Conference play at Merrimack College's Martone-Mejail Field. The Purple Knights are 4-11 overall and 1-4 in the league after playing their first NE10 Northeast Division contest of the year. The Penmen, whose national ranking is according to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), are 18-3 and 3-0.
Two regular-season meetings remain between the teams, as Saint Michael's downed Southern New Hampshire when it was nationally ranked in 2016 and receiving votes in 2017, ultimately winning last year's season series, 2-1. The Penmen qualified for three of the past four NCAA Tournaments.
Senior Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union), the NE10 leader in strikeouts (84) while standing among the top five in NCAA Division II in strikeouts per seven innings, reached double figures in punch outs for the fourth time this year, fanning 10 batters during a complete-game effort. She yielded five hits - all singles - and walked none. Brown became the second woman in program history to reach the 400-strikeout plateau for a career (409), joining Meggan Roberge Dulude '07. Brown tied Megan O'Connor '09 for fourth in complete games (43).
With Saint Michael's playing in a different state for the third straight day for the first time since 2007, junior Hayley Craddock (Campbell River, British Columbia/Carihi Secondary School/Highline) ripped a triple, while sophomore Julia Sevigny (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) walked and was hit by a pitch.
Sophomore Maddy Barone spun a three-hit shutout for Southern New Hampshire, striking out seven and walking one. Junior Erin Garczynski finished 3-for-3 with an RBI as the only Penman to reach base multiple times.
With her team playing the visitors' role, senior Chandler Wilder (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) singled with one down in the first inning before moving 60 feet on junior Fallon Tierney's (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) sac bunt before being stranded. Craddock tripled with two out in the third but moved no further.
Brown struck out the first two batters in the home half before the top three batters in the Southern New Hampshire order all reached consecutively, as Garczynski's single through the left side scored sophomore Jordan Wade for the game's lone run. Brown left runners at second and third with an inning-ending strikeout.
Tierney reached to lead off the fourth and advanced to second then third via a sac bunt and sophomore Danielle Markowski's (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) single, respectively. A strikeout followed prior to Sevigny being hit by a pitch to load the bases, but a popup ended the threat. The Purple Knights put senior Hannah St. Don (Lakeville, Mass./Sacred Heart) at third with one down in the fifth, but a 6-3-2 double play closed the rally.
Southern New Hampshire stranded four runners between the fifth and sixth innings, and Sevigny walked with one out in the seventh, but the final two batters, both representing the go-ahead run, hit fly balls for outs.
The Purple Knights are slated to host Assumption College for a three-game series this weekend, beginning with a Friday doubleheader at 3 p.m.