Softball finishes season with three losses at Merrimack

Softball finishes season with three losses at Merrimack

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College softball team finished its season with three losses against Merrimack College on Saturday at Warrior Diamond. In the conclusion of a contest that began on Friday, the Purple Knights fell 9-1 in five innings before being swept in the regularly-scheduled doubleheader, 10-5 and 12-7. Saint Michael's ends the year 3-34 overall and 2-23 in Northeast-10 Conference play, while the Warriors are 24-25 and 14-13.

Senior Danielle DelGreco (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) finished her career tied for fourth in program history with 22 career doubles, matching Casey Brooks '07 and Sarah Murray '15. She also took 15th in both hits (93) and RBIs (36), edging Heather French '10 by one in both categories. Senior Judi Barcavage (Cold Spring, N.Y./Haldane), the Purple Knights' starting first baseman the last three seasons, matched Noelle Gill '05 for second all-time in fielding percentage (.984) while taking sixth in putouts (514).

For the third time in four years, the Purple and Gold had a date where it played portions of three games, with the first match-up on Saturday being resumed with the teams scoreless in the bottom of the second inning. DelGreco finished 1-for-1 with an RBI and a walk, first-year Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) was 1-for-2 with a run, and junior Christina Brazeau (Warwick, R.I./Saint Mary Academy-Bay View) picked up a hit. First-year Molly Feeney (Valhalla, N.Y./John F. Kennedy Catholic) suffered the loss after allowing four runs, two of which were earned, in three innings. She struck out three and walked two.

First-year Emily Kurkul was 2-for-3 with two runs, three RBIs, a double and a home run for the hosts, and junior Tamarra Crowe went 2-for-3 with a run, three RBIs and a double. Sophomore Megan Cook tossed a complete game, allowing the lone run on three hits in five frames. She struck out four and walked two.

Kurkul's solo home run with one down in the second put Merrimack up for good, and her two-run double capped a three-run third inning. DelGreco's RBI single plated Tierney in the fourth, but the Warriors followed by spinning an inning-ending double play. Crowe, who had an RBI single during the third, knocked a two-out, two-run double in the fourth, and Merrimack invoked the mercy rule with three runs in the fifth on two hits and two errors.

In the second game, DelGreco was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a double, Barcavage and Brazeau were both 2-for-4 with a run, and junior Danielle Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y./Taconic Hills) was 2-for-4 with a double. Tierney scored once, drove in one run and walked twice, and senior Jenna Maksian (Shrewsbury, Mass./Shrewsbury) scored once, walked once and put down two sacrifice bunts. Junior Caroline Staples (Stoughton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) had a run, an RBI and a double, while sophomore Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) took the loss. She yielded six runs - all unearned - on five hits in 5.2 innings, fanning four and walking two. All 10 Warrior runs in the game were unearned.

Crowe finished 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, first-year Hannah Johnson drove in two, and junior Samantha Waskowitz was 1-for-2 with a run and two walks. Sophomore Courtney Zambello took the no-decision after allowing all five runs, three earned, in 5.2 innings, striking out six, before Cook retired all four batters she faced to nab the win in relief.

The teams traded two-run first innings, with DelGreco singling home a pair with two down before Crowe returned the favor but was thrown out at second by DelGreco from right field while trying to stretch the hit to a double. Saint Michael's went back on top when Tierney drew a bases-loaded walk with two down in the second, but Merrimack knotted the contest on a two-out throwing error in the fifth.

The Purple Knights forged ahead once more in the sixth, as Staples and DelGreco both doubled in a run with two out, but the 5-3 lead was erased by the Warriors' seven-run home half. The hosts put together their big inning behind four hits and two errors, with Johnson's two-out, two-run single a key hit.

Barcavage was one of six Purple Knights with a hit in the third game, a non-conference match-up, scoring once, driving in three and belting her fourth career home run. Maksian doubled, scored and stole a base, and Staples had a hit, a run, an RBI and a walk. Brazeau and Tierney were 1-for-3 with a run and a walk, DelGreco went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk, and senior Jacqui Cronan (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) walked, scored and picked up an outfield assist. Feeney took the loss, allowing 10 runs in 3.2 innings, with eight runs being earned.

Junior Kaleigh Finigan was 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a double, first-year Caitlin McBride finished 3-for-4 with two runs and a double, and junior Haley Currie went 2-for-3 with three runs. Senior Alexis Perry homered, drove in two and walked while also earning the win, allowing six runs on four hits in 4.1 innings. She walked five and struck out two.

In another high-scoring affair, McBride doubled home a run with two out in the first before Perry's two-run homer highlighted a three-run second, and Merrimack led 4-0. Cronan walked with one out in the third during her first collegiate plate appearance and scored on an error, and Saint Michael's countered Finigan's two-out RBI single in the bottom half with Barcavage's two-run dinger in the fourth, creating a 5-3 game.

Five Warriors were plated in the home half, as a key double by Finigan scored two of her team's three two-out runs in the frame, but Saint Michael's scored four runs in the fifth to creep within 10-7. Tierney scored on a passed ball, Staples knocked an RBI single, DelGreco walked with the bases loaded, and Barcavage grounded out to score Staples. With the tying run at the plate and two in scoring position, the final batter grounded out.

Merrimack plated single runs in the fifth and sixth to go up by five, though Cronan's relay from right field to Barcavage to Tierney at the plate cut down another potential run in the sixth. Only one of the Purple Knights' final nine batters reached, with Tierney singling to lead off the seventh.