BOSTON, Mass. – First year Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) doubled in the winning run in the seventh and first year pitcher Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) allowed just one earned run in a game one, 3-2, victory over visiting Eastern Nazarene College this evening at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Lions held on for a 5-4 victory to gain a split with the Sharks in the nightcap. Simmons is now 7-10 on the season, while Eastern Nazarene is 10-7.
Soqui was also a force at the plate for the Sharks with three hits, while Del Vacchio was 3-7 with a double, a run scored and a run batted in. Senior third baseman Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H) and first year shortstop Ashley Lynch (Shrewsbury, Mass.) also collected three hits on the night for the home team, including four runs scored, a triple and 15 infield assists for Rastello.
First year shortstop Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.) led the Lions, going 3-6 with two doubles, two RBI and a pair of runs scored, while sophomore catcher Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) finished the evening with three hits and drove in a run to go with a run scored for the visitors. Sophomore second baseman Viviana Coix (Warrenville, Ill.) rapped out a pair of doubles to go with a run scored and an RBI.
Rastello singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the seventh of the first game for Simmons and was followed by a Lynch single to center field. Del Vacchio doubled a 1-2 pitch to left center field to plate Rastello with the game-winning run.
The Sharks got on the board first with a pair of runs in the third inning. Rastello and Lynch worked back-to-back walks with one out, before first year center fielder Molly Hennessey (Shrewsbury, Mass.) legged out a triple to center with two outs to knock in both runs and give Simmons a 2-0 lead.
Eastern Nazarene responded with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to knot the game at 2-2. Sophomore third baseman Lauren Weidler (Lansdale, Pa.) reached on an error to begin the fourth inning and later scored on a single to center by junior pitcher Heidi Gomez (Floral Park, N.Y.). Bow led off the fifth inning with a single and later scored on a double down the left field line off the bat of Coix to tie the game at 2-2.
Soqui earned her first collegiate victory after yielding just two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks in seven complete innings for the Sharks, while striking out four to improve to 1-0 on the year, while Gomez (4-4) suffered the loss for the Lions, allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks in six and a third innings of work to go with a pair of strikeouts.
Bow was 2-3 in game two for Eastern Nazarene and drove in two runs in addition to scoring two runs as well. The Lions scored the game's first five runs, before Simmons chipped away to pull to within a run.
Coix doubled in the top of the first inning and later scored on a two-out single up the middle from Clements. Bow and first year center fielder Kayleen Garrick (Sparks, Nev.) matched the first-inning effort when Bow smacked a leadoff double and scored on a two-out single by Garrick to give the Lions a 2-0 lead. Clements reached on a fielder's choice in the third frame and first year Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) singled through the left side before junior first baseman Emily Gomez (Floral Park, N.Y.) loaded the bases with a single. Bow took advantage with a two-run double to give Eastern Nazarene a 4-0 margin. Gomez later scored the fifth and final run of the contest for the Lions on a ground out.
Rastello opened the third with a triple for the Sharks and came around to score on a ground out. Sophomore first baseman Alexandra Moleski (Bridgeport, Conn.) singled to center in the sixth inning, followed by a single up the middle from Soqui. First year Bridget Garach (West Hartford, Conn.) came through with a single down the right field line to drive in Moleski and cut the deficit to 5-2.
Rastello, Lynch and Del Vacchio all reached on singles to start the seventh, resulting in a run when Del Vacchio scored on a bobbled ball in left field. Simmons later loaded the bases when Soqui drew a walk and sophomore Sam Curran (Concord, N.H.) followed with a bases on balls of her own to plate Del Vacchio to make it 5-4. Garach chopped a ball in front of the plate that the Eastern Nazarene pitcher picked up and was able to force the runner at the plate to end the threat and the game.
Schaffer hurled a complete game victory for the Lions, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks to go with six strikeouts to improve to 6-3 on the season, while sophomore Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) gave up five runs on eight hits, a walk and a strike out for the Sharks and fell to 1-5 on the season. Garach tossed four innings of three-hit ball and fanned a batter.
Simmons will be in action again on Saturday, April 8 when it hosts Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe Anna Maria College for 2:00 p.m. twinbill, while Eastern Nazarene travels to Bristol, R.I. to take on Roger Williams University for a 3:00 p.m. first pitch on April 7.