EAST BOSTON, Mass. -- First year first base Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) doubled and drove in a run to lead the number three seed Simmons College softball team in a 6-3 loss to seventh-seeded Emmanuel College (Mass.) in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament Semifinals this evening at Memorial Park in East Boston, Mass. The Sharks finish their season at 22-19 for their highest win total since 2014. The Saints have won 13 of their last 15 games and improve to 25-17 on the season and will face top-seeded Suffolk University tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. in an elimination game at Memorial Park. The winner will face undefeated number two seed Johnson & Wales University at 12:30 p.m.
Emmanuel took advantage of three errors and scored four unearned runs en-route to the victory.
First year second base Meaghan Price (Corning, N.Y.) and junior catcher Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) each went 1-3 with two runs batted in for Emmanuel, while sophomore right fielder Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (South Boston, Mass.) was 1-3 with a home run.
The Saints manufactured a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. Junior starting pitcher Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) singled to left and sophomore center fielder Sarah Hoisl (West Hartford, Conn.) was hit by a two-strike pitch with both advancing into scoring position on a passed ball. Sheehan hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate Burgos and Hoisl later scored during a deliberate run down play between first and second to make it 2-0.
Emmanuel added two more runs in the third to take a 4-0 lead with the benefit of an error and a passed ball. Sheehan stroked a one-out single up the middle and junior first base Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) followed with a walk. The next two Saints struck out, but the third strike on the would-be third out was not handled, allowing junior shortstop Audrey Esakoff (Ventura, Calif.) to reach and load the bases. Price took advantage of Emmanuel's new life and roped a single to left field to plate Sheehan and Skey for a 4-0 margin.
The Sharks answered with three runs in the top of the fourth to make it a one-run game. Hennessey rapped a leadoff single up the middle and sophomore third base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) reached when she was hit by a pitch. Soqui followed with a single to left that got by the left fielder and resulted in Hennessey and first year pinch-runner Danielle Carson (Ashland, Mass.) scoring to cut the deficit to 4-2. Yabroudy followed with a double to bring home Soqui and pull Simmons to within a run. First year Mikaela Montemagni (Chicopee, Mass.) came on to pitch for the Saints and promptly retired the final three hitters on fly outs for the first of four hitless innings to close out the game.
Emmanuel got two runs back in the bottom of the fourth, including a 250-foot home run blasted over the center field fence off the bat of Ramirez-Tejada to open the frame. The Saints scored the final run of the night when Hoisl reached on an error, advanced to second on the throw, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a Sheehan ground out to give them a 6-3 advantage.
The Sharks were unable to put a rally together in the final three innings as Emmanuel came away with the victory.
Montemagni earned the win to improve to 4-2 after hurling four shutout innings, while fanning five and issuing one walk. Soqui (3-8) suffered the loss for Simmons, allowing five runs (two earned) on six hits and two bases on balls to go with three strikeouts. Senior righty Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) closed out her career by throwing the final three innings for the Sharks, yielding one unearned run on a hit, while setting two batters down on strikes. She concluded the season with 14 wins and 27 appearances to finish one short of tying the school record in both categories.