BOSTON, Mass. - The Simmons College softball team suffered a pair of seventh-inning losses to host Emmanuel College this afternoon in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference doubleheader at Roberto Clemente Field in Boston, Mass. The Sharks fall to 4-9 overall, including 0-2 in league play, while the Saints improve to 5-9 and 2-0.
Emmanuel won both games on game-ending home runs in the seventh inning.
Sophomore Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) paced the Simmons offense with three hits on the day, including a double and a run batted in, while first year second baseman Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif) was 2-3 with a walk, a run scored and drove in a run in the opening contest. First year shortstop Ashley Lynch (Shrewsbury, Mass.) collected a pair of hits and scored twice.
Sophomore catcher Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) keyed the Saints' offense, going 6-9 with two doubles, a homer, three RBI and two runs scored, while first year Sydney Rogers (Southwick, Mass.), senior Susie Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) and first year second baseman Kerry Sendrick (Medway, Mass.) each rapped out three hits on the day for Emmanuel. Rogers also knocked in three runs with a pair of homers, Sendrick cracked two doubles and Kieselback plated a pair of runs in game two and clubbed a double.
The teams combined to score six of the 10 runs of Game One in the seventh inning with each team striking for three runs to trade the lead, including Saints' walk-off homer.
Sophomore starting pitcher Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) picked up the victory to improve to 2-3 for the home team, hurling a complete game, allowing four runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk, while striking out five. Junior Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) (4-3) suffered the loss in relief for the Sharks, giving up three runs on four hits in two and two-thirds innings to go with three strikeouts.
Nelson led off the seventh with a single for the Sharks, but Megan Kieselback was able to get a pair of outs. Lynch kept the inning alive with a single and Del Vacchio followed with a single that got by the EC left fielder, enabling Nelson to score, while Lynch and Del Vacchio both moved into scoring position to cut the deficit to 3-2. First year center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) reached on an error that saw both Lynch and Del Vacchio score to give Simmons a 4-3 edge.
Emmanuel wasted no time to score the winning runs in the bottom of the frame as Sendrick led off the inning with a double and Sheehan reached on a fielder's choice to set up a walk-off three-run home run off the bat of sophomore designated player Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.).
The Saints took a 1-0 lead in the game when Sendrick reached on an error and was followed by a double from Sheehan to put runners in scoring position. Skey drove in Sendrick with a ground out for the first run of the afternoon. The Sharks countered in the fourth when first year right fielder Bridget Garach (West Hartford, Conn.) smacked a two-out single and came around to score on a double from Reeves, who was Simmons starting pitcher, to knot the contest at 1-1.
Susie Kieselback sparked a two-run fourth with a leadoff double, followed by a single from Megan Kieselback, who stole second to put both runners in scoring position. Senior third baseman Kara Madden (Silver Spring, Md.) came through with a run-scoring single and one out later senior left fielder Brenna Gilmore (San Carlos, Calif.) singled to left to increase the home team's lead to 3-1.
In game two, the Sharks rallied for five runs in the sixth, before Emmanuel got one back in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at 6-6 and two in the seventh for the win.
Senior starting pitcher Jill Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.) improved to 2-4 with the complete game victory for the Saints, giving up six runs on seven hits and four walks to go with nine strikeouts, while Reeves fell to 0-2 for Simmons after allowing two runs on two hits and a strikeout in one-plus innings of relief.
Emmanuel needed just three at-bats in the seventh to come away with their second victory of the day. Rogers led off the frame with a single and later scored on a one-out home run to center field from Sheehan to give the home team an 8-6 win.
The Sharks erased a 5-1 deficit with five runs in the sixth when Lynch singled to open the inning and Del Vacchio drew a walk to set up a run-scoring double from Hennessey to make it 5-2. Nelson followed with a two-run single to center to pull the visitors to within a run at 5-4. Kilcoyne looked poised to get out of the jam, getting the next two outs, but issued a walk to sophomore left fielder Sam Curran (Concord, N.H.) and saw Nelson score on an error to knot the game. First year pinch-hitter Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) came through with an RBI single to break the tie and give Simmons it's first lead of the game at 6-5.
Rogers responded with a one-out solo homer, for her second long ball of the game, to pull the Saints even at 6-6.
Sendrick drew a one-out walk and later scored on a Susie Kieselback single up the middle to put Emmanuel on the board first in the bottom of the first inning of game two. Simmons got the run back in the second when sophomore Alexandra Moleski (Bridgeport, Conn.) rapped a leadoff single and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 1-1.
Sheehan gave the Saints a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning with an RBI double and Rogers blasted a two-run shot in the fourth to increase the Emmanuel lead to 4-1. Sendrick and Sheehan followed with singles, before Skey and Susie Kieselback drew consecutive bases on balls to force in the fifth run for the Saints.
The Sharks return to action tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. when they host Lasell College at Daly Field in a twinbill that was re-scheduled from Saturday, while Emmanuel heads to Newton, Mass. for a doubleheader on April 8 at Mount Ida College.