Softball sweeps second doubleheader with Franklin Pierce, moves into tie for fourth

Softball sweeps second doubleheader with Franklin Pierce, moves into tie for fourth

COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team swept a doubleheader from Franklin Pierce University, 8-2 and 4-1, on Wednesday at Doc Jacobs Field. By virtue of claiming the opener, which was a Northeast-10 Conference contest, the Purple Knights moved into a tie for the fourth and final postseason position in the NE10 Northeast Division with four contests remaining. The Purple and Gold is 10-18 overall, 9-9 in the league and 8-8 in the division, while the Ravens are 1-30, 1-19 and 1-15.

Saint Michael's won four games against Franklin Pierce in the last 10 days after losing 18 consecutive series meetings while claiming only three of 24 contests from the Ravens between 2008 and 2016. The Purple Knights visit Saint Anselm College tomorrow for a 4:45 p.m. contest before hosting Bentley University for three weekend games.

In the opener, junior Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a double while tossing the complete-game six-hitter, striking out nine. She entered the day with zero RBIs in eight hitless at bats this season. First-year Danielle Markowski (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) was 2-for-3 with one run, an RBI, a double and a hit-by pitch, while classmate Torie Rathwell (Guilderland, N.Y./Guilderland) went 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a double. Senior Caroline Staples (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) was 2-for-4 with a run, classmate Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) had a hit, a run and a hit-by-pitch, and sophomore Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) was plunked twice and scored once.

First-year Ashley Conway batted 3-for-3 with a run for Franklin Pierce, and junior Jaclyn Cortese was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Both doubled. Sophomore Sabrina LoMonaco took the loss after allowing five runs on eight hits in four innings.

Brown's two-run double to left made it 2-0 in favor of the hosts in the second inning before the Ravens countered with a two-out run in the third, but Markowski came up with a two-out RBI single in the home half. Cortese's two-out RBI double again made it a one-run game in the fourth, but Rathwell and senior Danielle Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) knocked back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom half, and three Purple Knights came home in the fifth thanks to a Brown RBI single and a two-run infield error.

In the second contest, first-year Aleksandra Apkarian (Butler, N.J./Butler) picked up a pinch-hit RBI single to snap a fifth-inning tie. Rathwell went 3-for-3 with an RBI, a double and a hit-by pitch while scattering eight hits in a complete-game victory during which she fanned four. Brazeau was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, and Tierney batted 2-for-3 with a run, a walk and a triple in addition to stealing a base. Markowski had a hit and a walk.

Cortese was 2-for-3, and sophomore Ashley Deyo finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and a double. First-year Amelia Mamone took the complete-game loss, yielding three earned runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts.

Staples' sac fly put the Purple Knights ahead in the first inning, but Deyo's two-out RBI double knotted the contest in the third. Both pitchers pitched around trouble for much of the contest, with five Ravens reaching scoring position but not scoring, and the hosts stranding seven in the opening four frames. A hit, error and walk allowed them to load the bases with two down in the fifth, and Apkarian struck the first pitch she saw into the left field to break the tie. Tierney led off the sixth with a triple before scoring on Brazeau's bunt single, and Rathwell extended the lead with an RBI double to the fence in right center. Franklin Pierce never brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh.