STANDISH, Maine - The Simmons College softball team was defeated in a pair of games by host Saint Joseph's College (Maine), 5-2 and 9-3, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference doubleheader today at Richard Bailey Field in Standish, Maine. The Sharks fall to 9-20 overall and 4-10 in league play, while the Monks improve to 11-13 and 7-3.
First year center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) was one of four players to collect multiple hits on the day for Simmons. The rookie was 2-5 with a triple, two runs batted in and two walks, while senior third baseman Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) collected a pair of hits, including a double, drove in a run, scored a run and drew a walk. First year shortstop Ashley Lynch (Shrewsbury, Mass.) also registered two hits to go with an RBI and first year Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) had two hits, including a double and scored a run.
First year Libby Pomerleau (Saco, Maine) was 4-8 on the day for SJC, while scoring two runs and knocking in a run and senior Carla Tripp (Lovell, Maine) scored five runs to go with three hits and two walks. Sophomore Meghan Elliott (Blackstone, Mass.) batted in four runs on three hits, including a triple and scored twice in addition to working two bases on balls.
Saint Joseph's scored five times over the fifth and sixth innings, including four in the sixth on three hits and three errors, to erase a 2-0 deficit and come away with a 5-2 victory in game one.
Senior Mariah Harrison (Buxton, Maine) cracked a one-out double in the sixth and scored for the Monks when sophomore starting pitcher Kristal Smith (Pittston, Maine) followed with a single to center field to knot the game at 2-2. Saint Joseph's took advantage of an infield error and scored the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice. The home team's half of the sixth was kept alive by another infield error and scored two more runs thanks to a run-scoring single off the bat of Pomerleau and another error to take a 5-2 margin. Simmons was set down in order in the top of the seventh as Smith earned the victory to even her record at 4-4, going seven complete innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out six.
The Sharks got on the board first in the opener with consecutive extra-base knocks in the top of the second inning. Soqui ripped a double to right field, before Hennessey tripled to center to give the visitors a 1-0 edge. Simmons took advantage of another extra-base hit with Rastello leading off the third with a double to left center, before scoring ahead of a one-out single up the middle from Lynch for a 2-0 margin. The Sharks held Saint Joseph's in check until the fifth inning when Elliott cut the deficit in half with an RBI-single to left to make it 2-1.
Soqui (1-4) was saddled with the loss, allowing five unearned runs on five hits and four walks for the Sharks.
The Monks scored five runs over the first two innings and added four more in the sixth to put the game away in game two.
The first three batters for the bottom of the first reached for the home team to load the bases with Tripp (single), Pomerleau (bunt single) and Elliott (error) finding a base. Sophomore Melodie Bailey (Lebanon, Maine) came through with a sacrifice fly to plate Tripp with the game's first run. A Jennifer Murphy (Andover, Mass.) ground out forced in Pomerleau to give the home team a 2-0 advantage.
Simmons followed suit by loading the bases with one out in the next frame with sophomores Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) (error), Alexandra Moleski (Bridgeport, Conn.) and Sam Curran (Concord, N.H.) (walk) all reaching. Senior Alison Gauvin (Whitefield, Maine) followed with an RBI ground out to cut the margin in half at 2-1. The Monks countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second when junior second baseman Kelsy Gaddy (Limington, Maine) and Tripp each walked and later scored on a triple to left off the bat of Elliott. Elliott then scored on a wild pitch to give Saint Joseph's a 5-1 cushion.
The Sharks chipped away with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to pull to within 5-3. Simmons loaded the bases with no outs, but were only able to come away with a run on a Hennessey single, which scored first year Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.), who had worked a bases on balls. The Sharks manufactured a run in the sixth when Curran walked to open the frame, went to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a fly out to right and scampered home on a ground out by Rastello to make it a two-run game.
The first three batters reached to load the bases in the sixth for Saint Joseph's to set up a run-scoring walk by Elliott. Murphy later followed with a sacrifice fly and Harrison drove in the final runs of the day with a two-run triple to right center to increase the Monks lead to 9-3.
Senior hurler Kylie McFadden (Dover, N.H.) (5-5) picked up the complete-game win, yielding three runs (one earned) on five hits and six walks and struck out a batter in seven innings for SJC. Sophomore righty Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) (2-10) suffered the set-back for Simmons, giving up five runs on four hits and three walks to go with a strike out in an inning and two-thirds of work.
The Sharks return to action on Saturday, April 22 when they host GNAC foe Albertus Magnus College for a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader at Daly Field, while Saint Joseph's hosts Johnson & Wales University on the same day at 12:30 p.m.