BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College softball team dropped the first game of a double-header, 8-4, before rebounding to win the nightcap, 5-1, to split with Mount Ida College this afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks are now 8-10 overall, including 2-4 in league play, while the Mustangs are now 3-11 and 1-3.
Sophomore third base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) was 3-7 with a pair of doubles and three runs batted in on the day for Simmons, while sophomore Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) was 4-7 with a run batted in and a run scored. Sophomore second base Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) drove in two runs and was 2-6 and first year shortstop Marissa Santoro (Franlin, Mass.) collected three singles in five at-bats.
Mount Ida rapped out 25 hits for the day and saw five hitters register three or more hits. Senior shortstop Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.) was 5-7 with two doubles, three RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base to lead the Mustangs, while first year catcher Jill Skalski (Cranford, N.J.) was 3-5 with a double and a run scored. First year center fielder Caitlin Hogan (Derry, N.H.) finished the day with four hits in eight at-bats and two runs scored and junior first base Kelsey Weston (Hampstead, N.H.) and first year second base Savannah Neilan (Somerset, Mass.) each picked up three hits for the day for the Mustangs.
The teams combined for 12 runs and 27 hits in the opening game. Mount Ida put a pair of runs on the board in the first inning to take 2-0 lead. Hogan and Neilan each singled with one out to put runners on the corners and set up an RBI single through the left side off the bat of Microulis to give the Mustangs a 1-0 edge. Microulis was safe at second on a stolen base when the throw was not handled by the second baseman, allowing Neilan to score from third with the second run. Skalski followed with a double to center, but Microulis tagged at second base, anticipating a catch, and was unable to score on the play. The Sharks got a run back in the bottom of the frame when sophomore center fielder Molly Hennessey (Chartlon, Mass.) reached on a fielder's choice and scored from first on a double to the right center gap off the bat of Ortiz to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Soqui and first year first base Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) opened the bottom of the second with consecutive singles for Simmons, before both moving into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. First year right fielder Sydney DeVogt (Exeter, N.H.) came through from the nine-hole, dropping a single just inside the right field line to score Soqui. First year starting pitcher Madeleine Smith (San Diego, Calif.) got out of the jam with a pair of ground balls for Mount Ida to keep the score at 2-2 after two frames.
The Mustangs reclaimed the lead with two runs in the top of the third. Following an out, Mount Ida saw four straight batters reach base, including a walk from Microulis, a single from Skalski and RBI-singles from Weston and Smith for a 4-2 lead. The Sharks pulled within a run in the bottom of the inning when Hennessey reached on an error and circled the bases ahead of another double from Ortiz.
Mount Ida added a run in the fifth on a Smith sacrifice fly and got some breathing room with three runs in the sixth, keyed by a two-run double from Microulis, to take an 8-3 margin. First year left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) beat out an infield hit to shortstop to begin the seventh for Simmons and scored when Ortiz collected her third RBI of the game on a single up the middle, but it was the last run of the game for the home team.
Smith went the distance to earn her first win of the season for the Mustangs, scattering 11 hits and yielding four runs (two earned), while walking one and striking out six in seven innings. Soqui (4-4) took the loss for the Sharks, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk.
Senior right-hander Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) scattered nine hits and allowed just one run, while fanning five and walking one to improve to 5-4 on the season with a victory in the nightcap for Simmons.
Mount Ida struck for three hits in the first inning, but junior catcher Taylor LeBrun (Milford, Mass.) helped defuse the inning, throwing out a would-be-basestealer at second base. The Sharks took advantage of their good fortune and capitalized on a pair of errors to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Vann and Hennessey each reached on infield errors and both scored on a two-run single to right off the bat of LeBrun.
The Mustangs scored their only run of the game in the top of the second when first year catcher Lindsay Finney (Bennington, Vt.) laced a leadoff single to right, moved to second on a single from Smith and third on a wild pitch, before scoring on a ground out from junior third base Jenni Jackson (Marlboro, Mass.) to make it 2-1. Nelson recorded a pair of strikeouts to get out of the inning without any more damage.
Simmons manufactured a hustle run in the third. Santoro singled and moved to second on a ground out. Del Vacchio popped a two-out pitch straight up in front of the plate, but the descending ball eluded all fielders, while Santoro, who was off on contact, rounded third and scored to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead.
Simmons tacked on single insurance runs in both the third and fourth innings to take a 5-1 advantage. Soqui produced with an RBI single in the third and Santoro reached on a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Del Vacchio in the fourth. The Sharks looked to add another run with a leadoff triple from Hennessey in the fifth, but Simmons' four, five and six hitters were all set down in order to snuff out the threat.
Mount Ida received singles from first year pinch hitter Michelle Cilley (Dracut, Mass.) and Neilan in the seventh, but Nelson navigated the inning without allowing a run for the win.
First year Carrigan Costello (Wolcott, Conn.) (1-5) was saddled with the loss for the Mustangs after giving up five runs (one earned) on seven hits, while striking out two.
Simmons returns to the diamond on Wednesday, April 4 when it heads to Newton, Mass. to take on GNAC foe Lasell College for a 3:00 p.m. twinbill, while Mount Ida travels to Nashua, N.H. on the same day to play Rivier University at 6:00 p.m.