BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College softball offense smacked 11 extra base hits, including three home runs and the pitching allowed just one earned run in a doubleheader sweep of host Regis (Mass.) in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action this afternoon at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks won the opener, 14-1, before taking the second contest, 5-1. Simmons has won seven of their last eight and improve to 10-10 overall and 4-4 in league play, while the Pride fall to 4-8 and 0-4. Regis was the home team, but the games were moved to Daly Field due to unplayable conditions in Weston, Mass.
Senior starting pitcher Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) picked up wins in both games, including one in relief, and allowed just one earned run on seven hits in seven and a third innings of work for Simmons. Sophomore third base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) reached base six times in seven plate appearances, including a homer, a double and three walks to go with two runs batted in and three runs scored to lead the Sharks' offense, while sophomore second base Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) was 4-6 with a double, a walk, three runs scored and an RBI. First year left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) crushed her first collegiate home run and was 3-6 with three runs scored and two RBI, while classmate Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) drove in three runs on two doubles and a single to go with a run scored. Junior catcher Taylor LeBrun (Milford, Mass.) tripled and singled to knock in a pair of runs and sophomore center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) knocked in five runs with four coming home on her first collegiate grand slam.
Sophomore first base Ellery Rasmussen (Kingston, N.H.) was 2-6 with a run batted in and a run scored to lead the Pride, while first year shortstop Kayla Pieta (Middletown, Conn.), junior catcher Kelsey Grimard (Medford, Mass.) and junior left fielder Allie Petillo (West Sayville, N.Y.) all collected a pair of hits.
Simmons saw 11 different batters collect at least one hit in the day's opener, including three players with multiple hits. The Sharks put three on the board in the top of the first with Hennessey plating Del Vacchio on a sacrifice fly, before Ortiz cranked her second long ball of the season over the left field fence to give Simmons a 3-0 lead.
Simmons broke the game open in the fourth inning, sending 11 hitters to the plate with seven of them scoring. Santoro ignited the inning with a two-run double, before a single to left field off the bat of Del Vacchio gave the Sharks a 6-0 lead. Hennessey later increased the Simmons cushion to double-digits with her first career grand slam over the center field fence to make it 10-0.
The Sharks added four more runs in the top of the fifth, including four pinch-hits in the frame. First year Carrie St. Peter (Chester, N.H.) smacked a triple to right center field and scored on a groundout from classmate Emily Barbella (Littleton, Mass.). Junior Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) cracked a pinch triple of her own and sophomore Bridget Garach (West Hartford, Conn.) came off the bench to launch a double to the right center gap to plate Reeves and give Simmons a 12-0 advantage. Garach later scored on an error and first year Hailey Lowell (Pelham, N.H.) scored the Sharks' final run of the game after reaching on a single and coming home on a fielder's choice.
Nelson retired the first 12 Regis batters she faced until Pieta dumped a single into center field to open the fifth and spoil the bid for a perfect game. Pieta moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a ground out and came around to score the Pride's only run on an infield single from sophomore Madi McLellan (Fremont, N.H.) to set the final at 14-1.
Nelson allowed a run on two hits and struck out three in five complete innings to earn the victory for Simmons, while McLellan gave up eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits and two walks in addition to fanning five batters for Regis.
Both teams combined for four hits and no runs through the first four innings of game two, before the Pride cracked the scoring column with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Regis loaded the bases with two outs in the frame when first year third base Michaela Marum (Somerset, Mass.) stroked a leadoff single to center, before classmate Alyssa Rossillo (Sudbury, Mass.) reached on an error and Grimard singled to put a runner on every base. Rasmussen came through with a single to left to plate Marum and give the Pride a 1-0 edge.
The Sharks answered with a run of their own in the sixth when Ortiz led off with a double down the right field line and LeBrun followed with a triple to the right center gap to knot the contest at 1-1. Simmons rallied for four runs in the seventh to take a 5-1 lead that it would not surrender. Del Vacchio laced a double to left center and came around to score on Vann's first career home run over the center field fence to give the Sharks a 3-1 margin. First year first base Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) and Santoro gave Simmons a pair of insurance runs with RBI singles each.
Regis threatened to score in its half of the seventh when Pieta and Grimard both singled with an out to put runners on first and second. Rasmussen followed with a single to left, but Vann gunned down Pieta at the plate with the benefit of a relay throw to keep the Pride off the board. Nelson ended the threat after getting a ground out to third to end the game.
Nelson (7-4) earned her second win of the day for Simmons with two and a third innings of five-hit scoreless relief. Garach was outstanding as well, allowing just one unearned run on four hits and struck out a batter in the first four and two-thirds innings of the contest for the Sharks. McLellan (4-8) yielded five runs on nine hits and five walks against seven strikeouts in a losing effort for the Pride in seven complete innings.
Simmons returns to action tomorrow when it hosts GNAC rival Saint Joseph's College (Maine) at Daly Field for a 12:00 p.m. first pitch, while Regis heads to New Haven, Conn. on the same day to take on Albertus Magnus College at 12:00 p.m.