BOSTON – The Suffolk softball team will finally return to the diamond this weekend for the first time in April as the Rams take on Johnson & Wales and visit Emmanuel. Suffolk heads to the Wildcats Saturday, April 8, for a home contest, before making the short trip across town to the Saints Sunday, April 9.
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LAST TIME OUT
Behind concrete pitching from Taylor Holmes and solid hitting from Jill Pulek and Delaney Sylvester the Suffolk softball team collected an 8-0 shutout win over Boston Commons neighbor Emerson Thursday night at Rotch Field. The win marks head coach Jaclyn Davis' 101 on the Rams' bench making the fifth-year head coach the program's winningest in the 33-year history.
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
Suffolk has splits its last two twin bills – at Salem and Emerson – to bring a 6-8 record in GNAC action.
Jill Pulek has been a force at the dish for the Rams with the sophomore not only producing team leading numbers, but sitting amongst the top in the league. The Cheshire, Connecticut product paces Suffolk's pack in batting average (.510), on-base percentage (.510), RBI (17), and homers (4). She leads the conference and the squad in slugging percentage (.922), hits (26), and doubles (9). Pulek's 10 runs are good for second on the squad behind Devlin Frost's 13 with the junior center fielder batting .320 for the Rams this season falling second on the team in hits (16) and RBI (9).
Ashley Zulla has had a standout freshman campaign thus far, sitting second on the team in average .423, on-base percentage (.444) and slugging percentage (.846) with 11 hits, five RBI and nine runs scored. Delaney Sylvester's hitting .326 and slugging .400 on 14 hits, nine RBI and six runs scored.
In the pitchers circle the tandem of Taylor Holmes and Ali Yamakaitis have excelled for the Rams. Yamakaitis boasted a 2.45 ERA heading into the weekend through 45.2 innings of work with 27 runs (16 earned) allowed on 48 hits and 34 Ks. Holmes, meanwhile, had a rough going, but has returned to her form in New England. The junior twirler holds a 6.28 ERA in 29.0 innings of work including a complete-game, eight-hit, nine-strikeout shutout at Emerson.
Emerson, who went 1-9 in Florida, has since returned to Beantown where it swept a twin bill versus Lesley, (4-2/11-2), before falling in five to Suffolk's fellow GNAC member Johnson & Wales 11-2 Tuesday. In the midst of a homestand, the Lions welcome the Rams to Rotch Field at 3-10 on the season.
Jacqueline DeFusco is the main force at the plate for the Lions with a .447 average, .500 on-base percentage and .579 slugging percentage. The junior has produced 17 hits, including five doubles, for three RBI and six runs. Sophomore Kallista Leonardos paces the pack in RBI with nine on 10 hits, including three homers and has scored five herself, while Alena Jones is the team leader in runs scored with eight, while adding six RBI on 12 hits.
Six different arms have taken the circle for Emerson this season. Kodie Cash proves to be the most consistent as the junior boasts a team-best 4.00 ERA in six appearances in four starts with 16 runs allowed off 18 hits and 13 strikeouts. Keely Marquez, meanwhile, has a 5.50 ERA in seven appearances, six starts. In 34.2 innings pitched the rookie has given up 31 runs, 25 earned, off 31 hits and sat down nine batters.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Thanks to an 8-3 victory in its last meeting with the Wildcats, Suffolk took an 18-17 all-time series lead over Johnson & Wales last season.
Emmanuel, who will play at Mount Ida before welcoming the Rams Sunday, carries a 5-9 ledger into the weekend and is 2-0 against conference competition after sweeping Simmons, 6-4, 8-6, April 2.
The Saints sit second in the conference in on-base percentage (.408) and slugging percentage (.484) with their batting average of .315 sliding in third. Ashley Skey's 19 RBI is tied for the top in the conference with the sophomore being one of two batters for Emmanuel hitting over .400 at .405. Sydney Rogers' .429 average paves the path for the Saints with 12 runs scored and nine RBI to her credit.
Three different pitchers are taken the circle for Emmanuel this season. Jill Kilcoyne has seen the most time with 42.2 innings of work under her belt. The senior hurler brings in a 5.91 ERA with 52 runs allowed, 36 earned, on 60 hits and team-high 33 Ks. Megan Kieselback holds the lowest ERA on the squad at 5.07 in 29.0 innings of action.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Suffolk holds a commanding lead over the Emmanuel, 39-19, despite going 1-3 against the Saints last season.
With the 11-6 victory at Salem State, Jaclyn Davis picked up her 100th win on Suffolk's bench. She is just the second coach in the Rams' 33-year history to eclipse the 100-win mark. Davis joins Elaine Schwagger (100-82) as the only two coaches in Suffolk's softball annals to win 100 games in their careers at the helm of the program.
GNAC CORVIAS ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Ashley Zulla of the Suffolk softball team has been named the GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week after batting 0.625, slugging 1.375 and putting together a 0.667 on-base percentage during a doubleheader at Salem State Saturday, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
MORE READING: Zulla Named GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week
GNAC CORVIAS PITCHER OF THE WEEK
In the first week of action, Ali Yamakaitis threw her way to GNAC Corvias Pitcher of the Week March 13 with the junior going 2-0 in a pair of starts with a 0.54 ERA.
MORE READING: Yamakaitis Earns GNAC Corvias Pitcher of the Week
Back-to-back home games are on Suffolk's schedule as the Rams are set for visits from Curry and Simmons Tuesday, April 11 and Wednesday, April 12, respectively.