BOSTON – Suffolk softball matched the most innings played in its 34-year history, but the second seed of the North Division could not hold off the side's third seed Saint Joseph's (Maine), who racked up three in the 11th to defeat the Rams, 6-4, in the second-round of the 2019 GNAC Softball Tournament.
SCORE: Suffolk 6 | Saint Joseph's (Maine) 8
RECORDS: Suffolk (21-17) | Saint Joseph's (Maine) (12-21)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk walked out to a 2-run lead in the opening inning behind a pair of base-on-balls and a Monks' miscue. Caitlin Murphy drew a walk to start things off, advanced to third on Grace Boehler's bunt up the line and an overthrow by SJC's second baseman Libby Pomerleau let the rookie put the first run of the day on the board. On out later, Jaclyn Flint wore a pitch before working her way around the bags on back-to-back wild pitches. Kelly Keane's patience at the plate resulted in a walk that allowed Flint to score for the two-run margin.
After a scoreless second, Saint Joe's sliced the margin in half behind a one-run triple from Melodie Bailey.
The Rams regained the two-run distance in the bottom of the fifth when Ashley Zulla singled up the middle to score Murphy, who wore a pitch to reach.
An error allowed the Monks to pull within one in the sixth, but Hannah DelCervo kept SJC there to remain in front, 3-2.
DelCervo and the Rams were one out away from locking up the victory, however, an erratic throw from the senior twirler allowed the game-tying run to come and force the marathon extra innings.
Suffolk had multiple attempts to walk with a runner in scoring position in the eighth and pair in the 10th, but the blue-and-gold was never able to push the runner in to keep things deadlocked.
With Constance Phelan in the circle, the Monks figured things out and did damage on a pair of hits to put the Rams in a 6-3 hole.
McKenzie McGrath started Suffolk's comeback with a double to left. Two outs later, a base hit from Murphy score the senior to. Down two, Boehler barreled a deep ball to left field, but it flew just foul. The sophomore left fielder took a ball to bring things to a full count. The tying run would remain at the plate though as Boehler went down swinging.
- Phelan slipped to 5-5 on the year after giving up three runs on three hits and two walks in 1.2 innings of work.
- DelCervo put together a three-run (two earned), six-hit, three-walk, seven-strikeout performance over 9.1 frames of action.
- Caitlyn King earned the decision behind a one-run, nine-hit, one-walk, two-punchout effort over 7.0 innings of relief.
- Kate Whitney started in the circle for the Monks and gave up three runs (one earned) on one hit and three walks in 4.0 frames.
- Both of McGrath's hits were doubles. The senior third baseman scored one run.
- Zulla had a pair of hits and one RBI.
- Murphy scored twice, brought in one run and had one hit.
- Flint recorded one hit and one run.
- Samantha Jacques and Hailey Cockroft both provided one hit.
- Suffolk and Saint Joseph's (Maine) went to extra-innings in the GNAC Tournament for the second straight season.
- The Rams played in their fifth extra-inning league postseason game in the Jaclyn Davis era. Suffolk is 4-1 in such contests.
- The 11-inning outing is the longest game under Davis' guidance.
- Suffolk tied the longest game in Suffolk softball history playing 11 complete innings for the second time, first in the GNAC tournament and first since dropping an 8-6 decision to Norwich April 30, 2010.
- The Rams are now 2-5 versus SJC in the GNAC Tournament as it took down the Monks in the post-season in the third consecutive meeting.
Suffolk awaits the results of the South Division's Quarterfinal contest between top-seeded Simmons and second seed Saint Joseph (Conn.) to find out its opponent in the elimination contest.