NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Suffolk softball team left The Green Mountain State with two GNAC wins as the Rams held off Norwich in the nightcap, 9-5, Sunday afternoon at Sabine Field to sweep the two-game series with the Cadets.
SCORE: Suffolk 9, Norwich 5
RECORDS: Suffolk (10-6, 5-1 GNAC) | Norwich (5-7, 3-5 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk got going right away as Payton Sylvester led off the game with a double and came in two batters later on Jaclyn Flint's double. Devlin Frost, who reached on an error by the Cadets shortstop also scored on the play to make it a 2-0 Rams ball game.
Two innings later Suffolk added onto its lead. With one out Frost singled to center and advanced to second a passed ball. The senior centerfield came home on Flint's single. On the scoring play, the Rams' shortstop advanced on second on the throw home and moved to third on a mistake by Norwich's backstop. Delaney Sylvester's sac fly to right field push Suffolk's edge to four.
The Cadets responded with a pair of runs in the home half of the inning to restore the two-run margin after three complete frames.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the fifth as the hosts took advantage of a Suffolk mistake with bases loaded it trim the margin to one.
Suffolk's offense turned things around in the sixth, however, regaining a four-run cushion, 7-3. Madison Eucalitto brought in two runners on a double, while Sydney Littlefield collected one RBI on a fielder's choice.
For good measure, the Rams stretched their advantage even further in the top of the seven. With one down, Delaney Sylvester barreled a single and moved to second on an error by the Cadets shortstop, her second of the day. Ashley Zulla followed suit with a single of her own to advance the runner to third and took her place on second on a wild pitch. McGrath showed her composure with two outs as the junior third basemen knocked a deep double to bring in both Delaney Sylvester and Zulla to put a six-run space between the conference foes.
Norwich was determined for a comeback and Makeena Wade made up for her efforts with a two-out homer. The Cadets rallied behind the dinger and juiced the bags and took advantage of a base-on-balls to bring in the second run of the frame before the Rams defense ended the rally on a 43 ground out to clinch the 9-5 win and series sweep.
- Ali Yamakaitis earned her second straight win inside the series as Suffolk's starter allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits, six walks, while striking out eight batters.
- Norwich's Sarah Perry slipped to 2-4 on the year. She gave up nine runs, six earned, on 14 hits and one walk and sat down two hitters.
- Flint had a day at the plate with a 3-for-4 effort including one double and one triple for three RBI and one run scored.
- McGrath also went 3-for-4 at the dish with one double for two RBI and one run scored.
- Payton Sylvester and Zulla each contributed two hits and added to the Rams' run count. The former scored one, while the latter registered two.
- Eucalitto's lone hit of the day was a double and brought in a pair of runs.
- Suffolk opened the GNAC 5-1 for the first time since 2016.
- Suffolk swept Norwich in its regular-season doubleheader for the first time since 2016.
- The Rams, won their fourth straight game versus the Cadets, to improve to 21-19 all-time versus Norwich.
- Flint recorded her second straight game with a triple.
- McGrath set a new personal-best with two RBI and matched a career-high three hits.
- Yamakaitis threw a season-high eight strikeouts.
Suffolk is in store for one of the busiest weeks of the season as the Rams ready for 10 games over the week. First up is a Monday (April 9) matchup versus Lesley in the blue-and-gold's home opener at East Boston Memorial Park with first pitch scheduled for 4:30 p.m.