Saint Joseph's College (23-9, 14-6 GNAC) and Suffolk University (23-9, 17-5 GNAC) split a GNAC softball twinbill at Richard W. Bailey Field on Saturday afternoon. The Monks rallied from a 3-0 deficit to secure a 10-3 win in the opener but fell by a 5-3 margin in the nightcap.
Saint Joseph's junior starter Erica Boulanger (Somersworth, N.H.) was perfect through three innings but hit a snag in the fourth, when freshman Devlin Frost (Tewksbury, Mass.) led off with a triple and sophomore Kristen Young (Windsor, Conn.) followed with a bunt single, setting the stage for freshman Delaney Sylvester (Worcester, Mass.), who plated both of her teammates with a double down the left field line. Sylvester, who moved to third on a groundout, notched the Rams' third run of the frame when sophomore Lindsay Pagano (Wyckoff, N.J.) hit a sac fly to left.
With runners on first and second and two out in the bottom of the fourth, the Monks managed to tie the game on one swing, as freshman second baseman Kelsy Gaddy (Limington, Maine) hit a line drive over the center field fence, making it a 3-3 game through four full frames.
Saint Joseph's worked out of a major jam in the sixth, when senior Theresa Hendrix (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk with two down, but the fourth-year standout wiggled out of the difficult spot by fanning Paige Kawai (Aica, Hawaii) with a backwards K.
With momentum now on their side, the Monks managed to put the game away with seven runs off eight hits and a Suffolk error in the sixth. Sophomore shortstop Mariah Harrison (Buxton, Maine) plated a pair with a single and Hendrix drove in two with a triple to left while sophomore center fielder Carla Tripp (Lovell, Maine), junior first baseman Melissa Mayhew (Hiram, Maine) and senior third baseman Kim Jordan (Bangor, Maine) produced run-scoring singles during the game-changing inning.
For the Monks, Harrison, Hendrix, Mayhew, Gaddy and sophomore catcher Jennifer Murphy (Andover, Mass.) totaled two hits apiece while Hendrix picked up her third win of the season after tossing two innings of three-hit ball with a walk and a strikeout. Boulanger did not factor into the decision after allowing three runs off five hits and a pair of walks with two K's in five innings of work.
For the Rams, Young was 2-3 with a run and a stolen base and senior third baseman Nicole Rosa (Wallingford, Conn.) was 2-4 while freshman starting pitcher Ali Yamakaitis (Avenel, N.J.) took the loss after giving up eight runs (five earned) on 10 hits and a pair of free passes with two K's over 5.1 innings. Senior Sarah Chasse (Salem, Mass.) gave up two runs off four hits in 0.2 innings of relief in the loss.
The Rams flipped the script on the Monks in the nightcap, as the visitors negated an early 3-0 deficit with two runs in the second and three in the fourth to earn an important GNAC split.
The Monks seemed to take control of the closing contest by scoring three runs off two hits and a Suffolk miscue in the bottom of the first, when Hendrix plated a pair with a double to center and later scored on a misplayed ball in the infield, but the Rams closed the gap with a two-run homer off the bat of freshman Morgan Parmeter (Maynard, Mass.) in the top of the second.
The Rams went on to take the lead for good with three runs off three hits and a SJC error in the fourth, when Parmeter, Sara Middleton (Otis, Mass.) and Frost recorded run-scoring base hits.
Saint Joseph's had opportunities to at least chip away at the Suffolk lead in both the fifth and sixth innings. St. Joe's had the bases loaded with two down in the fifth and had runners on second and third in the sixth, but could not break through on either occasion.
For the Monks, Tripp, Jordan and Hendrix registered two hits apiece while sophomore starter Danielle Egan (Waterboro, Maine) fell to 3-3 on the year after yielding five runs (zero earned) off five hits and two walks with a pair of K's in 3.2 innings. Hendrix allowed three hits and two walks with a strikeout in 3.1 frames of relief.
For the Rams, Parmeter went 2-3 with two runs, a double, a homer and three RBI and junior Meredith Ball (Nahant, Mass.) was 2-3 with a run scored. Freshman pitcher Kathleen Slavin (Rocky Hill, Conn.) picked up the win after giving up three runs (two earned) off eight hits and eight walks with three punch outs in six innings while Yamakaitis earned her third save of the season after allowing a hit with a strikeout in the bottom of the seventh.
Saint Joseph's will host Rivier University in a GNAC doubleheader tomorrow with first pitch slated for 1:00 PM. Suffolk will play a pair at Curry College in a 3:30 PM start on Wednesday.
(Story courtesy of Saint Joseph's College Sports Information)