EAST BOSTON – Over the course of two GNAC games, the Suffolk softball team bombed six balls out of the park as the Rams crushed Saint Joseph's College (Maine) at East Boston Memorial Park Sunday afternoon. Suffolk claimed the opener 9-4 and took the closer 12-5.
With the two victories Jaclyn Davis earns her 100th career victory as a head coach through five seasons with 87 of those coming in her four years on Suffolk's bench. The pair of triumphs also improves Suffolk to 25-7 overall, marking the second straight season Davis and Rams recorded 25 wins.
The two wins played a key role in the Rams' placement in the GNAC standings. With the victories, Suffolk moved to 14-4 against conference competition and combined with help from Norwich, who swept St. Joseph (Conn.) (2-1(9)/9-1(6)), the Rams are in a tie for first with Johnson & Wales (26-7, 14-4).
GAME 1: SUFFOLK 9, SJC 4
The Rams took down the Monks (17-15, 10-8 GNAC) in order in the first inning and Devlin Frost knocked Suffolk's first hit of the day, a two-out double to center fielder fence. The sophomore right fielder was stranded as SJC secured the final out on the next batter and kept zeros on the scoreboard.
Delaney Sylvester began her show at the plate in the second inning. The first pitch the sophomore catcher saw she took and rocked it over the center field fence in the lead off spot, breaking open the scoring.
Sylvester's fourth homer of the year was quickly followed by her fifth in the next inning on her second at bat of the afternoon. With two outs, the Worcester, Massachusetts product let go a bomb to the scoreboard in left field literally putting another run on the scoreboard to give Suffolk a 2-0 edge.
Saint Joseph's rebounded in the fourth, with an error allowing Mariah Harrison to come in before Megen Pollini's double to right brought in the tying run, Melodie Bailey.
The Rams did not let the game stay tied for long, as they regained an advantage in the bottom half of the inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Madison Eucalitto, who reached on a single to left, crossed home on a fielder's choice that gave Suffolk a 3-2 lead.
Tides turned again in the top of the fifth as the Monks brought in two to take their first lead of the day, 4-3. Tripp singled to score Katie Chadbourne, who singled herself and the go-ahead run came in on Suffolk error.
The Monks lead was short-lived as Morgan Parmeter shot a three RBI homer over the center field fence. The home run was the sophomore's first of her career and marked the second time that Suffolk hit three balls out of the park this season. Parmeter brought in Jill Pulek and Karina Miranda, who pinch ran for Sylvester, to give Suffolk a 6-4 edge. Five batters and a pitching change later Lindsay Pagano came home a Jaclyn Flint double to center to stretch the blue-and-gold's lead to three, 7-4.
Pagano notched a double of her own in the top of the sixth to add two insurance runs as Sylvester and Parmeter came in, stretching Suffolk's advantage to 9-4. Ali Yamakaitis and the Rams' retired the Monks in order in the top of the seventh to secure the 9-4 conference victory.
Nine Rams combined for 14 hits with Parmeter's 3-for-3, three RBI, two run effort leading the way. Flint, Pagano and Sylvester all had two hits each. Sylvester and Pagno brought in two runs apiece with Sylvester scoring three herself.
Yamakaitis twirled a complete game, her eighth of the season, and improved to 9-4. The sophomore righty gave up four runs on nine hits and fanned two.
Jennifer Murphy and Pollini's two-hit games paced SJC's offense with Pollini bringing in one run. Harrison scored two of the Monks' four.
Kylie McFadden slipped to 1-2 on the year as the junior allowed seven runs on 10 hits, including all three of Suffolk's homer runs, in 4.0 innings of work. Jennelle Thompson came in relief for the final 2.0 innings, allowing two runs on four hits. Both of the Monks hurlers had one strikeout.
GAME 2: SUFFOLK 12 SJC 5
Both team's offense started from the get go in the nightcap as Harrison's double to left center brought in Tripp, who singled, to make it a 1-0 Monks' game after the top of the inning. Suffolk's response received a a bench clearing celebration as Pulek crushed a three RBI homer over the center field wall to give Suffolk a 3-1 edge.
With two outs and runners on first and second in the top of the second, McKenzie McGrath caught a grounder and made a routine play to first, but over threw Pagano allowing two Monks' runs to come in and levying the game at 2-all.
Thanks to Pulek the Rams had an answer once again in the bottom of the inning. The designated player shot a single to left, scoring Ball and Miranda in the process. Suffolk did not stop there as it added to its lead thanks to an RBI single from Sylvester and scored two runs on a Monks' error. Up 8-3, one out and Parmeter on second, Pagano yanked one to center field, marking the junior's first collegiate home run, which stretched the Rams' cushion to 10-3, just two innings in. Kristal Smith came in to pitch for Erica Boulanger and SJC halted Suffolk's second inning onslaught at seven runs.
Suffolk held the score at 10-3 in the next half despite two batters in a bases loaded situation. McGrath made the throw to Sylvester at the plate for out two and the inning ended scoreless on an unassisted putout by McGrath.
Miranda got in on the home run action in the bottom of the third. The freshman second baseman creamed it to center field and brought in Ball, who singled to center, with her to move Suffolk's lead to 12-3.
SJC plated runs in the fourth and fifth, respectively, including a home of its own by Mayhew, but the distance was too great as Suffolk walked away with the 12-5 victory.
Kim Crucioli earned the win in the circle in relief, throwing 4.0 innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out one. Taylor Holmes earned the start and gave up four runs on seven hits, three walks in three innings of work.
After a day off, the Rams will travel to Anna Maria Tuesday, April 25 for two against the AMCATS.