BOSTON, Mass. - Senior pitcher Lauren Backhaus (Windsor, Conn.) (1) and first year pitcher Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) (0) combined to allow just one run to lead the Simmons College softball team to a sweep over visiting Anna Maria College, 4-1, 4-0, this afternoon in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference twinbill at the BU Softball Field on the campus of Boston University in Boston, Mass. The Sharks win their third straight to improve to 16-11 overall and 13-5 in league play, while the AMCATS fall to 3-24 and 1-18.
Backhaus (9-4) allowed just two hits and struck out 11 to earn the 4-1 complete-game victory in game one for Simmons.
The Sharks got on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning, sparked by senior left fielder Jen Field (Windham, Maine), who singled to the opposite field, stole second and scored on a single down the left field line off the bat of sophomore third baseman Kat Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass.) to give them a 1-0 edge. Backhaus followed with an RBI single to left to plate Guillotte with the second run of the game.
Anna Maria got a run back in the top of the fifth when sophomore catcher Marissa Pingeton (Worcester, Mass.) drew a one-out walk and later scored on a pair of wild pitches sandwiched around a ground out to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.
Simmons added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 4-1 margin. Field led off the fifth with a bunt single, stole second and later scored on a Guillotte ground out. The Sharks scored again in the sixth when junior center fielder Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) beat out an infield single to shortstop, stole second and scored on a run-scoring single through the right side by sophomore right fielder Katie Nosky (Dedham, Mass.) to give the home team four runs.
Field and sophomore shortstop Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) each collected a pair of hits and Guillotte knocked in two runs to pace the Simmons offense. Field also stole two bases and scored two runs. Junior second baseman Elizabeth Haggerty (Charlton, Mass.) and Pingeton each collected a hit to lead the AMCATS offense.
Senior starting pitcher Nichole Lowe (Saugus, Mass.) (3-10) suffered the loss for Anna Maria, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks.
Nelson (7-3) earned her first collegiate shutout for the Sharks, scattering eight hits and walking one, while striking out four to pick up the win in game two.
Simmons scratched out a run in the fourth to crack the scoring column. White singled to right center, stole second and later scored on a single to center field by sophomore designated player Emma D'Arpino (Johnston, R.I.) to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Simmons capped the day's scoring with three runs in the sixth to take a 4-0 advantage. Senior first baseman Jess Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.) dumped a single into right field, before junior pinch runner Amy Maher (Milton, Mass.) stole second and scored on a bullet up the middle off the bat of White for a 2-0 lead. White later scored on a Rastello ground out for the third run of the contest. D'Arpino collected her second hit of the game with a single to center and stole the Sharks' eighth base of the day with a swipe of second. She later came home on a two-out single up the middle from first year right fielder Kayla Padroff (Southington, Conn.) to make it 4-0.
White, D'Arpino and Padroff each rapped out a pair of hits and drove in a run to fuel the Simmons offense, while senior first baseman Cristina Turley (Waterford, Conn.), Pingeton and senior left fielder Justine Lalonde (Shirley, N.Y.) each collected two hits to lead the AMCATS.
Junior hurler Angela Vousboukis (0-13) was saddled with the loss for Anna Maria, allowing four runs on 10 hits, while fanning a batter.
The Sharks will be in action again tomorrow when they host GNAC foe Johnson & Wales University in a noon doubleheader to be played on the campus of University of Massachusetts Boston in Dorchester, Mass., while the AMCATS host Rivier University tomorrow at Noon at Wachusett Regional High School in Holden, Mass.