Late-inning comebacks in both ends of doubleheader lead to Purple Knight sweep

Late-inning comebacks in both ends of doubleheader lead to Purple Knight sweep

RINDGE, N.H. - Thanks to late-inning comebacks in both games, the Saint Michael's College softball team swept Franklin Pierce University, 4-3 and 5-3, at Bisaccia Softball Complex on Monday. The Purple Knights improved to 5-16 overall and 5-7 in the Northeast-10 Conference with their first wins against the Ravens since 2011, and their first in Rindge in eight years. Franklin Pierce is 1-23 and 1-13.

First-year Torie Rathwell (Guilderland, N.Y./Guilderland) was 4-for-4 with a run and two RBIs in game one, while classmate Danielle Markowski (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) batted 2-for-4 with two RBIs, both coming on a seventh-inning double that put her team up by one. Senior Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) was 1-for-2 with a sacrifice hit and her seventh career hit-by-pitch, elevating her into fourth place in program history. Sophomore Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) walked once and scored twice, while junior Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) allowed only one earned run during a complete-game victory. She scattered four hits and struck out three without walking a batter.

Junior Jaclyn Cortese hit a two-run home run for the hosts while classmate Aubrey Bianco knocked a solo homer. Sophomore Sabrina LoMonaco pitched all seven frames while allowing four runs on nine hits.

Rathwell singled in each the first, third, fifth and seventh innings, as her base knocks plated Tierney with two out in both the third and fifth innings. Brown allowed a single to begin the game prior to setting down the next 12 Ravens, and carried a 2-0 edge into the home half of the fifth. Bianco led off with her home run before Cortese's two-run shot brought home a pair of unearned runs. Saint Michael's put two in scoring position with none out in the sixth, but a fielder's choice led to an out at the plate around a line-drive out and a groundout. The hosts also had two in scoring position with two down in the bottom half before Brown inducted a foul pop to first baseman Markowski.

With Saint Michael's trailing 3-2 heading into the seventh, Brazeau reached on a leadoff error before senior Danielle Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) and Rathwell singled to load the bases with no one out. After a fielder's choice led to an out at the plate, Markowski drove a two-run double to left field to give the visitors the lead. They threatened for more but left the bases loaded. In the home half, Brown set the Ravens down 1-2-3.

Tierney was 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base in the nightcap, while Brazeau went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, both of which came on her tie-breaking double during a three-run sixth inning. Rathwell hit 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a double while also allowing all three runs - but just one earned - in three innings but taking the no-decision. Junior Chandler Wilder (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) finished 2-for-3 with two runs, senior Caroline Staples (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) was 2-for-4, and Brown won her second game of the day with four shutout innings of two-hit relief.

First-year Ashley Conway was 2-for-4 for Franklin Pierce with a double, and classmate Amelia Mamone allowed 12 hits and five runs, including four earned, in a complete game.

Rooney's RBI single broke a scoreless tie in the second inning before another run came home on an error, but the visitors countered on Rathwell's RBI single and an unearned run of their own in the third. A two-out error brought home the Ravens' go-ahead run in the bottom half, but only two of their final 14 batters reached base.

With two down in the sixth, Wilder kept the inning going with a single up the middle before moving into scoring position when the hosts unsuccessfully tried cutting down another Purple Knight runner taking third. Tierney followed with a game-tying single - with Wilder moving to third - before stealing second base, a key play that allowed both runners to score on Brazeau's ensuing go-ahead double. Conway singled with one down in the seventh, but Brown retired both batters representing the potential tying run on a popup and line-drive out.

The Purple Knights host Saint Anselm College tomorrow for a 3 p.m. doubleheader. The contests were originally scheduled for Wednesday but have been moved up due to expected inclement weather.