PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The eighth-seeded Simmons College softball team allowed at least one run in all but one inning as the number four seed Albertus Magnus College came away with a 9-0 victory in the second round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship tournament this afternoon at Scotts Miracle-Gro Athletics Complex in Providence, R.I. on the campus of host Johnson & Wales University. The game was halted after five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule. The Sharks fall to 15-24 on the season, while the Falcons improve to 28-13.
The Sharks will play number two seed Saint Joseph's College (Maine), a 5-2 loser to number three seed Suffolk University, on Saturday, April 6 at 12:30 p.m. in Providence, while Albertus Magnus takes on top-seeded JWU today at 5:30 p.m.
First year second baseman Lauren Del Vacchio (Murietta, Calif.) led the Simmons offense, going 2-3 on the day, while first year centerfielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.), first year shortstop Ashley Lynch (Shrewsbury, Mass.) and senior catcher Alison Gauvin (Whitefield, Maine) each finished the day with a 1-2 effort. Hennessey's base knock extended her hitting streak to a season-long 13 straight games.
Junior shortstop Brianna Whitfield (West Islip, N.Y.) fueled the Falcons, going 3-4 with a home run, five runs batted in and two runs scored, while senior center fielder Megan Kelly (Bronx, N.Y.) was 3-3 with three runs scored. First year starting pitcher Laura Anderson (East Haven, Conn.) helped her own cause with a solo homer and hurled five innings of shutout ball, allowing five hits, while striking out four to improve to 12-4 on the season. Junior catcher Daysia Wheder (Queens, N.Y.) knocked in two runs with a single.
Anderson put Albertus Magnus on the board, taking advantage of a strong wind out to center field with a fly ball that went over the fence for a 1-0 lead with two outs.
The Falcons added two more runs in the second to take a 3-0 lead. First year Morgan Shura (Wallingford, Conn.) and Kelly each reached with one out singles to set up a run-scoring single to left field from junior third baseman Gillian Fortier (Naugatuck, Conn.) to plate Shura. Kelly also scored when Whitfield pushed a bunt single down the first base line.
Albertus Mangus increased its lead to 6-0 with three runs in the fourth inning. Kelly reached with a leadoff bunt single and later scored on a single to center off the bat of Whitfield. Wehder drove in the fifth and six runs of the contest with a two-out two-run single to left field.
The Falcons walked off with the win with three runs in the fifth to give them nine runs. First year left fielder Aliza Esposito (East Haven, Conn.) and Kelly each reached on bunt singles before Whitfield ended the game with a three-run blast that went over the left field fence with two outs in the frame to set the final at 9-0.
Sophomore hurler Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) (4-12) was saddled with the loss for the Sharks after allowing three runs on five hits and a walk in an inning and a third of work to go with a strikeout.