Softball Splits with Emmanuel in GNAC Opener, 4-6, 4-2

Softball Splits with Emmanuel in GNAC Opener, 4-6, 4-2

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior starting pitcher Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) scattered seven hits and allowed two runs and sophomore third base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) knocked in two runs to help the Simmons College softball team salvage a split with a 4-2 victory in the second game of a Great Northeast Athletic Conference doubleheader with visiting Emmanuel College this afternoon at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Saints came back to win the opening game, 6-4. The Sharks are now 3-7 overall and 1-1 in league play, while Emmanuel is 6-5 and 1-1. 

Sophomore center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) was 2-4 with four runs batted in, a walk and a run scored for Simmons on the day, while first year left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) collected three hits, including a triple and scored three times. Ortiz had a pair of hits, including a double and knocked in a pair of runs. First year designated player Carrie St. Peter (Chester, N.H.) made the most of her first collegiate start, going 2-4 in the day's second game.

Junior Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) led the Saints' offense, going 4-7 with two runs scored and an RBI, while junior shortstop Audrey Esakoff (Ventura, Calif.) drove in a run with a pair of hits. 

Nelson improved to 2-3 in game two for the Sharks after striking out four and walking one, before surrendering two runs in the seventh. Simmons got on the board in the third inning when sophomore second base Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) drew a one-out walk and later scored on a two-out single from Ortiz to give the home team a 1-0 lead. The Sharks increased their lead to 3-0 with a two-run fifth after Vann ripped a leadoff single and later scored on an Ortiz RBI-ground out. Hennessey also reached on a walk in the frame and later scored on a passed ball. Simmons added an insurance run in the sixth when first year right fielder Sydney DeVogt (Exeter, N.H.) registered her second hit of the game with a single up the middle and later scored when Hennessey dumped a single just inside the right field line to give the Sharks a 4-0 lead. 

Emmanuel prevented the shutout with a pair of runs in the seventh to give it five runs in the seventh inning for the day after scoring three times in the opener's seventh frame. Junior first base Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) opened the inning with a leadoff single to left before giving way to sophomore pinch runner Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (South Boston, Mass.). Ramirez-Tejeda stole second and later scored from third on a throwing miscue to second on a successful steal attempt from first year second base Meagan Price, who had previously singled. Price later scored on a single off the bat of Esakoff to cut the deficit to 4-2, before Nelson retired the final two batters to strand Esakoff on first and give Simmons the nightcap. 

Burgos (2-1) suffered the loss for the Saints, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks to go with a strikeout in four innings of work. 

The Sharks scored two in the fourth and added a single run in the fifth to take a 3-0 lead heading into Emmanuel's top half of the sixth of game one. The Saints took advantage of three Simmons errors to rally for three runs in the frame to knot the score at 3-3. Sophomore center fielder Sarah Hoisl (West Hartford, Conn.) led off the sixth with a single and later scored on a muffed throw to put the Saints on the board. Burgos reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt and cut the deficit to a run when she scored on a ground out from junior catcher Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.). Emmanuel pulled even in the inning when first year left fielder Megan Long (Greenville, R.I.) reached on an error and later scored on a single to center from junior starting pitcher Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.). Hennessey kept it a tie game after cutting down a runner trying to score on the same play. 

Simmons reclaimed the lead at 4-3 with a run in the bottom of the frame when Vann tripled to right center and scampered home on a sacrifice fly to center from Hennessey. The Sharks looked to close the door in the seventh, but the Saints scored three times in their final at-bat to provide the winning margin. Emmanuel put runners on second and third with the benefit of a leadoff single from first year pinch-hitter Kaitlin Bouchard (South Portland, Maine) and a passed ball. The string of events set up Burgos for a squeeze bunt that resulted in her reaching first when the throw home was not in time to get pinch runner Meaghan Price (Corning, N.Y.) from scoring the go-ahead run. Long followed with an RBI-single and Sheehan plated another run with a ground out to give the Saints a two-run lead they would not relinquish. 

Simmons took a 2-0 lead on a two-run single from Hennessey in the fourth and added a run in the fifth when first year shortstop Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) singled and later scored on a two-out base hit from Del Vacchio to give the home team a 3-0 lead. 

Kieselback (3-3) earned the complete game victory for Emmanuel, yielding four runs (three earned) on five hits and a walk, while fanning five batters. Sophomore Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) (1-4) took the loss for the Sharks, allowing four runs (one earned) on six hits and a base on balls and three strikeouts in five and a third innings of work. 

Simmons returns to the diamond tomorrow when it travels to take on Albertus Magnus College in a GNAC twinbill at 12:00 p.m., while the Saints host Norwich University at Clemente Field in Boston at 12:00 p.m.