NASHUA, N.H. - First year center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) collected four hits, including a triple and two doubles, to lead the Simmons College softball team in a double-header split with host Rivier University, winning the second game, 6-4, after being edged in the opener, 4-3, this afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at the Raider Diamond in Nashua, N.H. The Sharks finish the regular season with a 14-23 overall record, including 9-13 in league play, while the Raiders finish their season at 11-23 and 5-17.
Simmons will travel to West Hartford, Conn. on Tuesday, May 2 as the number eight seed in the GNAC Championship tournament and will take on fifth-seeded University of Saint Joseph in a 5:00 p.m. first round tilt.
Hennessey was 4-8 with two doubles and a triple, while knocking in two runs for the Sharks. Senior catcher Alison Gauvin (Whitehead, Maine), senior third baseman Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) and first year second baseman Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) all had multiple hits, drove in two runs and scored two times each for Simmons. Rastello and Del Vacchio joined first year Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) and sophomore first baseman Alexandra Moleski with mutiple hits and a double on the day.
First year Kasey Smith (Hopkinton, Mass.) paced the Rivier offense, going 4-6 with three runs scored, while first year Taylor Rowsell (Chelmsford, Mass.) cracked two doubles and drove in three runs. Sophomore Mikayla Ramsdell (Salem, N.H.) was 3-7 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and two runs batted in.
The Sharks rallied for five runs in the top of the seventh to overcome a three-run deficit and come away with the victory in game two.
Moleski smacked a leadoff double to begin the seventh for SC and sophomore right fielder Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) drew a walk, before Gauvin singled home Moleski with one out to make it 4-2. Del Vacchio pulled Simmons even with a two-run double, before Rastello gave the visitors the lead with an RBI single to plate Del Vacchio. Hennessey provided the Sharks with an insurance run with her fifth triple of the season and a 6-4 margin.
Simmons scored the first run of the game as well with a run in the third. Gauvin worked a one-out walk in the frame and later came around to score on a single to right off the bat of Rastello for a 1-0 lead. The Raiders responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 edge. Smith reached on a bunt single with two outs and scored on a Ramsdell double. Rowsell matched her teammate with a double of her own to bring home Ramsdell with the second run of the contest for the home squad. Rivier padded its lead with two more two-out runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 cushion. Once again, Smith laid down a bunt single and Ramsdell followed with a single to set up a two-run double off the bat of Roswell to give the Raiders a three-run lead.
First year reliever Bridget Garach (West Hartford, Conn.) (2-1) picked up the victory for the Sharks after allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits, while striking out a season-high of five in five and two-thirds innings pitched. First year starting pitcher Kendall Stanton (Rochester, N.H.) (4-8) suffered the loss for the Raiders after yielding six runs on eight hits and and two walks to go with a strikeout in seven complete innings.
Despite the first two runs of the game and 10 hits, Simmons was edged in the opening game, 4-3.
The Sharks scored single runs in the second and third frames to take a 2-0 lead. Del Vacchio stroked a leadoff single, stole second and later scored on a two-out single to left from Gauvin in the second. First year shortstop Ashley Lynch (Shrewsbury, Mass.) began the third with a single and circled the bases on a triple from Soqui for a two-run Simmons lead.
Rivier pulled even with two runs in the fourth. Sophomore catcher Jessica Silva (Tewksbury, Mass.) reached on a one-out infield single and first year first baseman Desirae Brawn (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine) drew a walk to set up a two-run double to right center from first year starting pitcher Courtney Trahan (Brooklyn, Conn.) to tie the game.
The Raiders added single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 4-2 margin. In what became a common theme for the day, Smith kept the fifth alive with a two-out single and scored on a double to center from Ramsdell. Brawn was issued a walk to start the sixth, before Rivier loaded the bases, courtesy of a fielder's choice from Trahan and a pinch-walk by Stanton. Senior third baseman Shaylyn Freitas (Pelham, N.H.) was hit by a pitch to force in the home team's fourth run.
Simmons looked to rally in the seventh when Rastello cracked a double to left and later scored on a double to center from Hennessey to cut the deficit to 4-3. Trahan stranded her on second for the Raiders by getting a grounder to short and snaring a line drive to end the game.
Trahan improves to 4-2 on the year for Rivier after scattering 10 hits and giving up three runs in seven complete innings to go with a strikeout. Reeves (1-3) suffered the loss for the Sharks after allowing three runs on six hits and a walk and fanned a batter in five innings.