Led by two home runs, including a walk-off grand slam in game one, from junior captain Kayla Nielsen (Saco, ME/Thornton Academy), Pine Manor swept Suffolk University in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader on Saturday, April 9, at Pine Manor Field in Chestnut Hill, MA. Nielsen was one of three Gators to hit a home run on the day, as the Gators powered their way past Suffolk 5-1 in game one and 7-3 in game two.
In game one, Pine Manor starting pitcher Tara Doehler (Lakeville, MA/Apponequet) and Suffolk starter Samantha McGilvray (Brighton, MA/Boston Latin) were locked in a duel as both starters surrendered just one run prior to the seventh inning. In the Suffolk half of the third, leadoff hitter Cali Laura (Farmington,CT/Farmington) would pick up an RBI single to drive home junior Liz Galvin (Medway, MA/Medway) and give the Rams a 1-0 lead. The Gators would respond in the bottom half of the inning, scoring a run when Nielsen singled to center to bring in senior Jess Kennedy (Lakeville, MA/Apponequet) from second.
The Gators would leave a total of four runners on base in the next three innings, failing to get across the go ahead run, but Doehler would surrender only one hit following the third inning and would get Suffolk to go down one-two-three in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for Nielsen. Doehler struck out 8 en route to her fourth victory of the season in game one.
PMC senior Michelle Campbell (Baltimore, MD/Seton Keough) led off the home half of the seventh with a single. With Campbell aboard the Gators were determined to push the runner around, electing to have the next two batter bunt Campbell over. However, well placed bunts by Kennedy and Doehler would load the bases, as both batters would reach when Suffolk attempted to cut down the lead runner.
With the Rams unable to secure an out, Nielsen stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. The junior from Saco, ME would then launch a walk-off grand slam over the left field fence to give the Gators a 5-1 victory in game one.
In game two, the Gators would pick up where they left off. Pine Manor jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings, putting the game all but out of reach. With Doehler aboard in the first inning, Nielsen would once again go yard to give the Gators a 2-0 advantage. Just two batters later, sophomore Kaylyn Delgado (Worcester, MA/Bartlett) would hit a solo shot to increase the Pine Manor lead to 3-0.
In the second, freshman Ashley Carusone (Nashua, NH/Nashua North) singled to start off the inning. Three batters later, Kennedy would crush a double to drive home Carusone. Doehler then singled into right to score Kennedy.
Suffolk would counter with two runs in the fourth and one in the sixth to cut the lead to 5-3 before once again falling victim to the long-ball. With the Gators leading 5-3 in the sixth, Carusone hit a two-run jack to put the Gators up to stay, 7-3. Carusone went 5-6 on the day, reaching base in every at-bat as well as scoring two runs.
(Story courtesy of Pine Manor College Sports Information)
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