WEST HAVEN, Conn. - The Saint Michael's College softball team was swept by 2017 NCAA Tournament qualifier Adelphi University, 8-0 in five innings and 8-2, on Sunday at the University of New Haven's softball field. The Purple Knights are 4-10 overall and 1-3 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Panthers moved to 9-11-1 and 3-0-1. Adelphi won the 2017 NE10 Championship and NCAA East Regional before falling in the East Super Regional to cap their sixth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Sophomore Katie Terban (Georgetown, Mass./Saint Mary's) walked twice and junior Hayley Craddock (Campbell River, British Columbia/Carihi Secondary School/Highline) once during the opener. Senior Danielle Brown (Vergennes, Vt./Vergennes Union) suffered the loss after yielding seven earned runs in 4.2 innings, fanning three to push her career total to 399 strikeouts.
First-year Nicole Mengel tossed a five-inning no-hitter for Adelphi, striking out three and walking three. Junior Nicoletta Cuccio was 2-for-3 with two runs, two RBIs, a hit-by-pitch and a home run. Senior Brenna Martini also went deep among her two hits, and classmate Nicole Camera went 2-for-3 with two runs.
Camera drove in Cuccio with a two-out RBI single in the first inning before scoring on a wild pitch, and the Purple Knights ended Mengel's perfect game bid when Terban walked with one down in the third before Craddock walked with two down, but both were stranded. Cuccio and Martini began the home half with back-to-back homers, kicking off a three-run inning, and Cuccio's walk-off RBI single with two out in the fifth capped a three-run frame.
Sophomore Danielle Markowski (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a double for the visitors in game two, junior Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) went 2-for-4 with a run, while Terban doubled in two at bats and walked. Sophomore Torie Rathwell (Guilderland, N.Y./Guilderland) was the losing pitcher after yielding seven earned runs in six innings, striking out three and walking two.
Camera finished 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs while falling a home run short of the cycle. Junior Lauren Sandelier was 3-for-4 with a run and two RBIs. First-year Ally Muller went 5.2 innings for the win, allowing two runs but one earned, before junior Jessica Vadala got the final four outs for the save.
Camera's two-out RBI single put Adelphi on the board first during the opening inning before Markowski and sophomore Julia Sevigny (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) both singled with two down in the second but were left on. Shortstop Craddock cut down a runner at the plate trying to score on an infield error later in the frame. Sophomore Sarah Wight (Hingham, Mass./Hingham) walked to begin the third and Craddock singled, giving the visitors two runners with none out, but they were later both stranded in scoring position.
Sandelier scored on a groundout in the fourth and Camera knocked an RBI triple before scoring to make it 4-0 in the fifth. Saint Michael's loaded the bases with no one out in the following inning, and Markowski ripped a two-run double to halve the deficit. A key 6-3-2 double play squelched the threat, and Terban walked before Vadala came out of the bullpen to retire the final hitter. The Panthers plated four runs in the bottom half to pull away, with Camera coming through with a two-run double and Sandelier providing a two-out, two-run single.
The Purple Knights take on No. 19 Southern New Hampshire University tomorrow at 3 p.m. for a single contest that will be played at Merrimack College. The Penmen's national ranking is according to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), while they have qualified for three of the past four NCAA Tournaments.