EAST BOSTON – The top-seeded Suffolk softball team had a flare for the dramatic in its GNAC Tournament opener as a classic pitcher's duel took the game to nine innings before Delaney Sylvester barreled a two RBI bomb to send the Rams past fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's (Maine), 2-1, Thursday night at East Boston Memorial Park.
SCORE: Suffolk 2, Saint Joseph's (Maine) 1
RECORDS: Suffolk (30-7) | Saint Joseph's (Maine) (20-18)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Ali Yamakaitis handled the circle for the full seven and then some. The senior RHP escaped a pair of innings with two runners to keep the Monks quiet and force the extra session.
Kate Whitney matched Yamakaitis' fire with some of her own heat as she kept the conference's best offense quiet through eight frames.
Everything came down to the ninth. Melodia Bailey started things off with a double to left center and turned on her wheels on Kaylee Burns single to right center to break open the scoring. Yamakaitis showed composure and leaned on her defense to keep the Monks at one.
With Jaclyn Flint on first and one out on the board Sylvester made connection with the ball and eruption soared in East Boston as the senior catcher sent a shot over the right field fence to secure the 2-1 win for the Rams.
- Yamakaitis 9.0 inning day featured a stat line of one-run on seven hits and one walk with an impressive eight punchouts.
- Whitney let up a pair of runs on five hits and one walk with four Ks.
- Sylvester's only hit of the day was the game-winning homer, which was good for two RBI and one run.
- Devlin Frost was the lone Ram to record multiple hits in the outing with a 2-for-3 effort.
- Flint had one hit and one run to her credit with Ashley Zulla rounding out the Rams with hits with one.
- Libby Pomerleau produced three of the Monks seven hits.
- Burns' single brought in SJC's only run, which was scored by Bailey, who record a double.
- Suffolk won its 30th game, marking the fourth season and first time since 2016 the Rams have eclipsed the 30-win mark.
- The Rams won their second straight GNAC Tournament meeting the Monks, and fourth straight game against SJC to move to 15-19 all-time versus the Monks.
- Suffolk moved to 2-6 all-time against SJC in the GNAC postseason.
- The Rams' senior class – Madison Eucalitto,Devlin Frost, Taylor Holmes, Sylvester and Ali Yamakaitis – recorded their 119th victory to become the all-time winningest senior class of all sports in Suffolk Athletics history.
With the win, Suffolk will meet second-seed Johnson & Wales in the winner's bracket Saturday, May 5 at 3 p.m.