BOSTON, Mass. -- Simmons Softball split with the visiting University of Saint Joseph Blue Jays Sunday afternoon at UMass Boston in the annual Coaches vs. Cancer game benefitting the American Cancer Society. The Sharks move to 15-5 overall and 8-2 record in the Conference, while the Blue Jays are now 9-8 overall and 5-3 in the GNAC.
Game One: Simmons 3, University of Saint Joseph 0
In the bottom of the first, the Sharks loaded the bases with two outs as Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) walked, Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) singled up the middle and Christina Mulcahy (Cambridge, Mass.) was hit by a pitch. Blue Jays pitcher Patti Sciglimpaglia struck out Jess Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.) to get out USJ out of the inning unscathed.
After a scoreless second and third innings, Blue Jays Emily Vigue started off the fourth with a doubled to the center field fence. Ashley Gall then singled to left field and Mary Sciglimpaglia followed suit with a single to load the bases. Sharks pitcher Lauren Backhaus (Windsor, Conn.) struck out the USJ's next two batters to keep the game scoreless.
The Sharks broke the stalemate in the bottom of the fifth as Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) singled to start of the inning and Emily Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) hit a single down the right field line to score Rastello from first. In the top of the sixth, USJ put runners on first and second before M. Sciglimpaglia singled but the Rastello made the play at third for the second out. Backhaus struck out Shauna Sullivan for the final out of the inning.
Simmons added their final two runs in the bottom of the sixth as Backhaus singled to score Amy Maher from second and Kat Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass.) tagged up and scored on a fly ball to center field by Rastello.
Backhaus picked up her seventh win of the year, recording ten strikeouts and just one walk. P. Sciglimpaglia took the loss for the Blue Jays.
Game Two: University of Saint Joseph 3, Simmons 1
The Blue Jays scored first in game two as Cassandra Vigue singled and then advanced to second on an error by the Sharks short stop to start the third inning. Colleen Ecsedy hit a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Vigue to third and Sarah Miller hit a fly ball to right field to score Vigue.
Simmons responded in the bottom half of the inning as Caracciolo hit a triple and advanced home on an error by the centerfielder to tie the game at one. USJ regained the lead in the fourth as P. Sciglimpaglia led off with a double to center field. Ashley Gall followed with a single down the left field line and then stole second. Ashley Tucker grounded out to first but Sciglimpaglia beat the throw to home for the go ahead run. Shauna Sullivan then reached first on a Sharks error, which scored Gall for the 3-1 lead.
The Sharks had runners at first and third in the bottom of the sixth with one out but USJ catcher Mary Sciglimpaglia picked Mulcahy off third base and the Blue Jays defense made the final out to end inning. Jen Field (Windham, Maine) singled in the bottom of the seventh but the Sharks were unable to capitalize as USJ went on to win, 3-1.
Emily Vigue recorded the win for the Blue Jays, while Danielle LeBlanc (Templeton, Mass.) took the loss for Simmons. The Sharks return to action on Tuesday against Fenway rival Emmanuel College at 3:00/5:00 PM at UMass Boston.