BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College softball team scored four times to walk off with a game two 9-8 victory to follow an 11-5 win in the opener to earn a sweep over visiting Norwich University this evening in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks have won seven straight and 11 of their last 12 to improve to 14-10 overall and 8-4 in league play, while the Cadets fall to 5-9 and 3-7.
Sophomore third base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) was 3-7 with a double and six runs batted in to lead Simmons, while sophomore center fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) was 3-6 with a three-run home run and six runs scored for the day. Sophomore Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) also contributed with two hits in seven at-bats and knocked in four runs.
Junior catcher Madison Miller (Long Lake, N.Y.) was 4-7 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI for Norwich, while sophomore second base Katie Reid (Gold Canyon, Ariz.) was 3-7 with a double and a triple to go with two runs batted in. Sophomore shortstop Makenna Wade (Pensacola, Fla.) finished the day going 3-8 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.
The Sharks entered the bottom of the seventh of game two facing an 8-5 deficit, before scoring four times to walk off with the victory. Simmons loaded the bases with no outs when sophomore second base Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.), who's eight-game hitting streak ended in the first game, started a new one with a single up the middle, followed by a walk from first year left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) and Hennessey reaching on an error. Ortiz laced a single through the right side to score Del Vacchio and Vann to pull the Sharks to within 8-7, while Hennessey advanced to third. First year Danielle Carson (Ashland, Mass.) pinch ran for Ortiz and advanced to second on a ground out to put both runners in scoring position with an out. First year first base Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) laid down a bunt in front of the plate with Hennessey closing in on home plate. The catcher picked up the ball and waited for Hennessey, but the ball came loose and rolled away, enabling Hennessey to score with Carson scampering around the bases behind her to cross the plate with the winning run at 9-8 for Simmons.
The Sharks opened with a 4-0 lead after scoring a pair of runs in both the third and fourth innings. Vann drew a two-out walk, before Hennessey brought her home with her second homer of the season on a blast over the center field fence in the bottom of the third. Simmons added two more two-out runs in the fourth when Yabroudy walked and first year right fielder Sydney DeVogt (Exeter, N.H.) singled and stole second to put runners on second and third. First year catcher Rachel Pfeiffer (Melrose, Mass.) came through with an RBI single to center that got away from the center fielder, allowing DeVogt to also score to make it 4-0 for the home team.
Simmons looked to be in control, before the Cadets exploded for eight runs after sending 12 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth inning. Miller helped key the frame for Norwich with a pair of singles, two stolen bases, two runs scored and an RBI, while junior first base Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.), sophomore left fielder Kaylee Blanchard (Worcester, Mass.) and Reid all stroked RBI doubles during the inning.
Junior lefthander Michaela Reeves (Reading, Mass.) picked up the win in relief for the Sharks, giving up just two hits to go with a pair of strikeouts in two innings of play to improve to 1-1. Senior starting pitcher Sarah Perry (New Bedford, Mass.) (2-5) allowed nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits and five bases on balls, while striking out three.
Simmons scored three or more runs in three different innings to get the game one win.
Norwich wasted no time in scoring the first run of the night for the Cadets with sophomore Felicia Armell (North Ferrisburgh, Vt.) drawing a one-out walk and Rinaldo smacking a double for the first run. Rinaldo also scored on a ground out.
The Sharks doubled up on Norwich with four runs in the bottom of the inning, paced by a single off the bat of Soqui to bring home two more runs. The Cadets got a run back in the top of the second courtesy of an RBI triple from Reid to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Simmons got some breathing room in the fourth on a three-run double off the bat of Ortiz to take a 7-3 lead. Wade singled home the fourth Norwich run with a bullet down the left field line in the top of the fifth to make it 7-4. The Sharks scored four times in the bottom of the sixth, keyed by RBI singles from Vann and Hennessey to go with a sacrifice fly from Soqui to take an 11-4 advantage, before the Cadets cut the margin to 11-5 with a pair of runs in the seventh. Oliver and Wade cracked back-to-back doubles with Oliver scoring to make it 11-5.
Senior Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) improved to 9-4 on the season for Simmons after allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits and four walks in addition to a pair of strike outs. Junior Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) (3-4) suffered the loss for Norwich after yielding 11 runs (six earned) on six hits and seven walks in addition to three strike outs.
The Sharks return to action on Sunday, April 15 when they host Rivier University for Senior Day at 12:00 p.m. at Daly Field, while the Cadets head to West Hartford, Conn. to take on University of Saint Joseph in double header action at 3:00 p.m.