AUBURNDALE, Mass. – Senior shortstop Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) was 5-7 on the day and first year hurler Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) allowed just one run in game two to lead the Simmons College softball team in a doubleheader split with visiting Rivier University this afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action. The Raiders took the first game on Taylor Field, 10-6, before the Sharks won the nightcap, 7-1, in Auburndale, Mass. Simmons is now 11-12 overall and 5-7 in league play, while Rivier is 8-14 and 3-9.
Both teams rapped out 21 hits on the day, including 17 in game one for the Raiders.
Caracciolo also knocked in a pair of runs and drew a walk on the day for the Sharks. She flied out to left field in the fourth inning, which was significant, because it marked the end of 10 straight plate appearances of reaching base safely. She was 9-9 with a walk, a double, three runs scored and seven RBI during the stretch. First year designated player Alexandra Moleski (Bridgeport, Conn.) was 5-8 in the two games, including a double and also scored three times and drove in a pair of runs. Senior center fielder Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) drove in two runs and was 3-6 with a walk.
Gomes (5-4) allowed just one run on four hits and two walks in seven complete innings in the second game and struck out two batters.
Junior catcher Nicole Scotti (Concord, N.H.), junior Jessica Cote (Nashua, N.H.) and sophomore shortstop Tori Dugan (Norwalk, Conn.) all collected four hits on the afternoon to lead Rivier. Cote also stroked two doubles and knocked in three runs.
The Raiders scored four runs in the top of the seventh to decide game one. The visitors entered the inning tied at 6-6 with Simmons, but loaded the bases with no outs when senior relief pitcher Taylor Miller (Haverhill, Mass.) led off with a single to right center, followed by bunt singles from senior left fielder Lia Bobek (Hollis, N.H.) and Dugan. Sharks' sophomore reliever Cat Record (Cotuit, Mass.) looked to get out of the jam with back-to-back called strikeouts, but Cote ripped a double just inside the third base bag to plate Miller and Bobek. Dugan and Cote later scored on a throwing error to give Rivier a 10-6 lead.
Simmons had faced a 6-3 deficit in the bottom of the fifth, but rallied for three runs to knot the game. The Sharks saw first year right fielder Taylor LeBrun (Milford, Mass.) and White single to lead off the inning, before Moleski singled to center to bring home LeBrun. First year third baseman Dominique Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) drew a walk to load the bases to set up a two-run single down the left field line off the bat of Record to make it 6-6. The Raiders escaped the inning with a double play to stave off any more damage.
Rivier got on the board first in the top of the second when Cote ripped a leadoff double down the left field line and came around to score on a single to left from senior third baseman Kathryn Mostone (Pelham, N.H.) for a 1-0 edge. Simmons answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-1 lead. Moleski cracked a double to left and later scored on a wild pitch and Caracciolo later pulled a two-out single down the right field line to score two more runs.
The Raiders scored five unanswered runs with three in the fourth and two in the fifth to take a 6-3 margin. Scotti knocked in a run with a single and Rivier took advantage of a pair of errors to score two more runs in the fourth. Mostone crushed the first pitch she saw over the left field fence in the fifth for a solo homer and Dugan drove in another run with a single later in the frame.
Miller (4-4) picked up the victory in relief for the Raiders with three scoreless innings on three hits, while striking out two. Record (1-3) was saddled with the loss for the Sharks after giving up four runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk to go with two strikeouts.
Simmons never trailed in game two as Gomes did not allow a run through the first five innings of work. Moleski put the Sharks on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI single. Simmons tacked on another run in the third when it loaded the bases with one out courtesy of singles from Moleski and White and junior second baseman Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) reaching on an error. Ortiz hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate Moleski to give the home team a 2-0 lead.
The Sharks got some breathing room with three runs in the fifth to take a 5-0 cushion. LeBrun and Moleski both singled before White drew a walk to load the bases. Rastello followed with a sacrifice fly to center to bring home LeBrun and sophomore first baseman Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) drove in two more runs later in the inning with a single up the middle.
Rivier broke into the scoring column in the top of the sixth when Dugan led off with a single and later scored on a Cote single to center field to make it 5-1. Simmons answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 7-1 advantage when White singled home a pair of runs.
First year starting pitcher Kerri Hegarty (Tewsbury, Mass.) (2-3) took the loss for the Raiders, yielding five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks, while fanning a pair of batters in four innings.
The Sharks will be in action again on Wednesday, April 20 when they host Suffolk University in a twinbill to be played at East Boston's Memorial Park a 3:30 p.m., while Rivier hosts University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) on the same day at 6:00 p.m.