BOSTON, Mass. – First year third baseman Taylor LeBrun (Milford, Mass.) and senior center fielder Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) each hit a two-run home run to lead the Simmons College softball team to a game two, 4-2 victory over visiting Emmanuel College to gain a doubleheader split after the Saints won the first game, 8-6, this evening in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Roberto Clemente Field in Boston, Mass. The Sharks are now 13-18 overall and 7-13 in league play, while Emmanuel is 21-14 and 13-7. The victory for the Saints sets a single-season record for team victories, surpassing last year's mark of 20.
White was 4-7 for the night to lead Simmons, while knocking in three runs and scoring a run. LeBrun finished 2-6 with three runs batted in and two runs scored and first year first baseman Alexandra Moleski (Bridgeport, Conn.) went 4-7 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI for the Sharks. Sophomore right-hander Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) (1-2) earned the victory in game two, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk in six-plus innings, before yielding to classmate Cat Record (Cotuit, Mass.), who retired all three batters she faced to earn her second save of the season.
First year catcher Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) led Emmanuel at the plate, going 5-7 with a pair of doubles, four runs batted in and a run scored, while classmate Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) was 3-6 with an RBI and a run scored. First year Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) made both of her hits count, clouting the first two home runs of her collegiate career. Junior starting pitcher Julie Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.) earned the game one victory to improve to 14-6 for the Saints, giving up six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks to go with 11 strikeouts.
Simmons scored all four of its runs in the third inning of game two. Senior shortstop Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) drew a one-out walk and LeBrun crushed her third homer of the season over the left field fence to give the home team a 2-0 lead. Moleski followed with a single through the left side and White launched her first long ball of the season over the left field fence to make it 4-0.
Emmanuel got on the board in the fifth when senior second baseman Kerrianne Vulpis (East Rockaway, N.Y.) hit a hustle double to center field and came around to score on a Sheehan single to left field. The Saints looked to rally in the seventh when Burgos led off the frame with a homer to center to cut the deficit to 4-2, but Record came in to shut the door for the Sharks.
Burgos (2-5) suffered the loss for Emmanuel, yielding four runs on five hits and a walk to go with a pair of strikeouts in three innings of work.
The Saints scored in each of the first four innings of game one and tallied the first five runs of the contest through their half of the third inning. Senior shortstop Catherine Davis (Wethersfield, Conn.) led off the game with the first of three hits in the contest and later scored on an RBI base knock to center off the bat of Skey. Sheehan, who drew a walk earlier in the inning, later scored on a ground out to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Burgos first collegiate home run gave Emmanuel a 3-0 lead in the second. The Saints tacked on two more runs in the third to take a 5-0 cushion. Sophomore third baseman Abbey Alexiades (Kingston, Mass.) and Skey both raced around the bases on a two-out triple down the right field line off the bat of junior right fielder Erin Walsh (Granby, Conn.).
Simmons got on the board with three runs in the third to pull to within 5-3. Junior catcher Alison Gauvin (Whitefield, Maine) worked a leadoff walk and junior second baseman Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) reached on a bunt single and both runners moved up a base on a throwing error on the play. Gauvin crossed the plate with the Sharks' first run on a ground out by junior left fielder Emma D'Arpino (Johnston, R.I.). Caracciolo drove in Rastello on a fielder's choice and Moleski plated the third run of the frame with a run-scoring single.
The Saints increased their lead to 8-3 with a run in the fourth and two more in the sixth. Davis stroked a two-out single up the middle, stole second and scored on a single to center by Sheehan in the fourth. Vulpis reached on an error to open the sixth and Davis followed with her third hit of the game, before a Sheehan double to center brought both runners home. Simmons looked to rally in the seventh with three two-out runs. Caracciolo drew a full-count walk and went to second on a wild pitch, before LeBrun singled her home. Moleski followed with a double to right center to put both runners in scoring position. White laced a single to center that got by the center fielder, enabling LeBrun and Moleski to score and cut the margin to 8-6. Kilcoyne was able to end the game on a strikeout to preserve the record-setting win for Emmanuel.
First year hurler Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) (5-6) was saddled with the loss for the Sharks, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk in one and a third innings of work.
Simmons returns to the diamond on Saturday, April 30 when it hosts GNAC rival Mount Ida College in a 3:00 p.m. twinbill to be played at Mount Ida's campus in Newton, Mass. The Saints return to action on the same day when they head to New Haven, Conn. to take on Albertus Magnus College in a 12:00 p.m. doubleheader.