FT. MYERS, Fla. – The Suffolk softball team ended its 21st Spring Training trip on a high note as the Rams defeated Minnesota Morris, 5-1, and ran past Knox, 15-4, on their final day at the Gene Cusic Classic.
The two victories push Suffolk's overall record to 7-3, marking the best Spring Break trip for the blue-and-gold in recent history and its best ledger through the first 10 games of the season since matching that mark to open up 2005.
Suffolk opened the day with a pitchers duel as Minnesota Morris (0-11) and the Rams went four scoreless innings. The Cougars got things going in the bottom of the fifth with one run, but the lead was short-lived as Suffolk quickly registered four in the sixth.
Jill Pulek drew a walk to lead off and was pushed to second on Morgan Parmeter's single to center field. The Rams' runners were pushed ahead on a passed ball and Lindsay Pagano's walk loaded the bases as Evelyn Marquis pinch hit for McKenzie McGrath. The freshman singled through the left side to bring Pulek in and put Suffolk on the scoreboard. Elissa Mogauro followed with a two RBI double and Meredith Ball's ground out to the Minnesota Morris' pitcher helped Marquis cross the plate and give Suffolk a 4-0 lead.
In the final inning, Pulek doubled to left center, brining Karina Miranda home to tack on an insurance run.
Ali Yamakaitis picked up her second win of the season, throwing a complete game, allowing four hits and just one run, while punching out two and walking three. Mogauro's bat led the way for the Rams as the sophomore went 2-for-3 at the plate with 2 RBIs. Delaney Sylvester (2-for-4) and Parmeter (2-for-4 ) also half multi-hit performances for Suffolk.
The Spring Break finale for Suffolk was an offensive onslaught as the 10 Rams combined for 17 hits and 15 runs in a 15-4 triumph over Knox. The 17 hits are the most since Suffolk struck for 17 in a 9-6 victory over Salem State April 6, 2015, while the 15 runs are the highest from the Rams since they produced 21 in a 21-0 shutout over Pine Manor April 14, 2014.
It was a close affair after the first two innings, but Suffolk's bats started right away as it took a 3-1 lead thanks to two runs in the first and one in the second. The Rams opened up the distance with a six-run third, pushing their advantage to 9-1. Knox attempted a comeback with one run in the bottom of the inning and a pair in the fifth, but Suffolk's second second-run inning of the day came in the its final at bat for the final 15-4 score.
Kim Crucioli secured the win inside the circle with the junior tossing 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and one strikeout. Yamakaitis notched her first save of the year, tossing the final two innings, facing seven batters and striking out one. Taylor Holmes started for the Rams, twirling 2.2 innings allowing two runs and three hits with 4 K's and one walk.
Six different Rams had multi-hit performances paced by Devlin Frost's 3-for-3, two run, two RBI effort. Sylvester went 2-for-2 and brought in four runners and had two runs herself, with Ball (2-for-5, 2R), Nicole Isakson (2-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI), Mogauro (2-for-5, 1 RBI) and Marquis (2-for-4, 2R, 2 RBI) also contributing multiple hits.
Suffolk returns to New England and quickly returns to the diamond as the Rams visit Curry Thursday, March 24 for a doubleheader.