BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College softball team rallied for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-4 game one victory over visiting Albertus Magnus College, before the Falcons returned the favor in the nightcap with a 6-3 win to earn a split in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference twinbill this afternoon at BU Softball field in Boston, Mass. The Sharks finish the regular season with an 18-13 overall record, including 15-7 in conference play, while Albertus Magnus is now 22-11 and 16-5.
Simmons earns the number four seed and a first round bye in the GNAC Championship Tournament and will play against the winner of eighth-seeded Mount Ida College and fifth-seeded Johnson & Wales University on Friday, April 24 at host Suffolk University's home field. The Falcons will take on Anna Maria College tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. to finish their season. They have also qualified for a first round bye in the GNAC tourney as the number two seed and will host a second round game on April 24.
The Sharks broke a 4-4 tie in the opening game of the afternoon when they scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Junior second baseman Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) launched her team-leading fifth home run of the year over the center field fence to give the home team a 5-4 edge. Sophomore third baseman Kat Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass.) followed with a double down the left field line and trotted home ahead of senior starting pitcher Lauren Backhaus' (Windsor, Conn.) second homer of the year to deep left field for a 7-4 lead. Backhaus took care of business in the pitcher circle as well, shutting Albertus Magnus out in the final two frames.
The Falcons wasted no time getting their offense going, scoring three times in the first to open the contest. Albertus Magnus loaded the bases on a single from first year third baseman Gillian Fortier (Naugatuck, Conn.), a fielder's choice from first year first baseman Melissa Castillo (Taftville, Conn.) and an infield single by senior shortstop Carli Matrisian (Milford, Conn.). Sophomore catcher Brianna Spadacenta (East Haven, Conn.) forced in a run by drawing a walk and junior left fielder Alyssa Puccilli (Mildford, Conn.) knocked in a run with a single to key the inning.
Sophomore designated player Emma D'Arpino (Johnston, R.I.) reached when she was hit by a pitch and later scored on an error to put Simmons on the board. The Sharks tied the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the third when Backhaus singled and senior first baseman Jess Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.) hit her first career home run over the left field fence. The Falcons reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth when Fortier hit her fourth roundtripper of the year to give them a 4-3 edge. The Sharks answered in the bottom of the fifth when Uschmann wacked a leadoff double to left center and junior pinch runner Amy Maher (Milton, Mass.) later scored the tying run on an error.
Backhaus (11-5) earned the complete game victory, scattering 11 hits and giving up four runs, while walking three and striking out five for Simmons. First year pitcher Megan Ferraro (Branford, Conn.) (8-4) suffered the loss for Albertus Magnus, yielding seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits, while fanning four.
The Falcons scored three runs in two different innings to provide all the runs they would need to capture game two. Facing a one-run deficit, first year catcher Daysia Wehder (Queens, N.Y.) stroked a two-out single to centerin the top of the fourth inning, before Puccilli worked a four-pitch walk. First year Ana Gomez (New Haven, Conn.) pinch ran for Wehder and scored along with Puccilli when sophomore first baseman Amanda Jessey (East Haven, Conn.) belted a two-run double to right center to give Albertus Magnus a 2-1 margin. Sophomore right fielder Megan Kelly (Bronx, N.Y.) followed with a run-scoring single to center to plate the third run. The Falcons tacked on three more runs in the sixth for a comfortable 6-1 advantage. Albertus Magnus scored a pair of runs on an error and added its sixth run when Fortier singled home a run with two outs.
The Sharks had scored their first run in the third when senior left fielder Jen Field (Windham, Maine) beat out an infield single and scored on a double to left off the bat of Caracciolo.
Simmons looked to rally in the bottom of the seventh with Uschmann scorching a leadoff single up the middle and Maher pinch running and circling the bases on a triple to left center by junior center fielder Heather White (Westfield, Mass.). D'Arpino came through with a pinch-single to left to score White and cut the deficit in half at 6-3. Sophomore pinch hitter Katie Nosky (Dedham, Mass.) drew a walk and senior pinch-hitter Alaina DeNoncour (Johnston, R.I.) singled to right to load the bases with no outs for Simmons and the top of the order coming up. First year starting pitcher Samantha Maselli (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) bared down though for the Falcons, getting a force out at the plate and a pair of pop-ups to end the game.
Maselli (13-3) earned the complete-game victory for Albertus Magnus, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk to go with four strikeouts, while first year starter Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) (7-4) was saddled with the loss for the Sharks after allowing six runs (three earned) on nine hits and two walks, while setting down four on strikes.
Uschmann led the Simmons offense on the day, going 5-7 with two runs batted in, while Caracciolo was 4-8 with two RBI. Fortier was a force at the plate for Albertus Magnus, going 6-7 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored. Puccilli finished at 3-5 with two runs scored an a run batted in, while Matrisian was 4-8 with a run scored.