Del Vacchio, Vann Lead Softball in Sweep over Eastern Nazarene, 10-3, 11-3

Del Vacchio, Vann Lead Softball in Sweep over Eastern Nazarene, 10-3, 11-3

BOSTON, Mass. – Junior centerfielder Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) was 6-8 with three doubles and sophomore left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) was 4-7 with a double, a triple and three runs batted in to lead the Simmons University softball team to a doubleheader sweep over visiting Eastern Nazarene College, taking the first game, 10-3, before winning the nightcap, 11-3 in five innings today at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks have won three of their last four games and improve to 6-16 on the season, while the Lions fall to 11-9. 

Simmons scored 21 runs on 25 hits, including 11 extra-base hits, while its pitching held Eastern Nazarene to nine hits and a .191 (9-47) batting clip for the day.'

Del Vacchio scored five runs and knocked in a run, while Vann scored four times for the Sharks. Sophomore Christie Bott (Seaford, N.Y.) reached base six times during the two games and was 3-5 with a double, two RBI and five runs scored and sophomore shortstop Hailey Lowell (Pelham, N.H.) went 2-3 with a two-run double and a run scored in her only game played. 

Senior catcher Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) led the Lions, going 3-5 with a two-run homer and a run scored, while sophomore third base Dominique Santos (Lancaster, Calif.) was 2-6 with two runs batted in and a run scored. Senior second base Viviana Coix (Warrenville, Ill.) also contributed with an RBI triple and two runs scored. 

Simmons scored the first five runs of game one over the first two innings of play. The Sharks wasted no time in breaking into the scoring column when Del Vacchio led off the bottom of the first with a double down the left field line and scored on a Vann single up the middle for a 1-0 edge after one frame. Simmons scored four more times in the second, highlighted by a run-scoring single from Bott and an RBI double off the bat of senior first base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) to give the Sharks a 5-0 lead. 

Eastern Nazarene took advantage of a second chance in the third and crossed the plate twice to cut the deficit to 5-2. Senior shortstop Rebecca Ashman (Havre de Grace, Md.) reached on a two-out error to keep the inning alive and came around to score on a Coix triple to right center. Coix scored the second run of the inning when she scampered home on a passed ball. 

Simmons put three more runs on the board in the fourth when Del Vacchio led off the frame with a ground-rule double and then scored ahead of a hustle triple from Vann. Bolt followed with an RBI double and later scored on a bloop single that landed behind the pitcher from first year shortstop Allie Mulhern (Westford, Mass.) to give the home team an 8-2 advantage. 

The Lions strung three straight hits together in the sixth to pull to within 8-3. Junior starting pitcher Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) cranked a one-out double to right field, before Clements singled through the left side to put runners on the corners for the visitors. Santos followed with a single up the middle to drive in Schaffer with Eastern Nazarene's third and final run of the game. The Sharks tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the inning when Ortiz led off with a single to right and later trotted home on a two-run blast over the center field fence for first year pitcher Maddie Castigliego's (Bristol, R.I.) team-leading third home run of the year. 

Castigliego earned the victory from the circle to improve to 4-4 on the season for Simmons after allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk to go with a career-high nine strikeouts in seven complete innings. Schaffer (8-3) was saddled with the defeat for Eastern Nazarene after giving up 10 runs (six earned) on 13 hits and four walks in addition to seven strikeouts in six frames. 

The Sharks broke a 3-3 tie in game two when they erupted for six runs in the fourth inning, before pushing two more runs across in the fifth to enact the eight-run mercy rule. 

Simmons rapped out six hits and took advantage of a pair of errors in the fourth. Del Vacchio reached on an error to begin the frame, before scoring on a Vann double to right field. Vann later scored on an error and Bott, who had singled after Vann, later scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-3. Lowell doubled home another run and sophomore right fielder Danielle Carson (Ashland, Mass.) plated two more runs with a single, but was thrown out at second when trying to advance on the throw to the plate. The Sharks put runners on the corners with an out in the fifth with Del Vacchio leading off with a single and Bott later reaching on a fielder's choice. Bott stole second to give Simmons a pair of runners in scoring position to set up a run-scoring fielder's choice from Ortiz, where everyone was safe on the throw to the plate from the infield. Sophomore second base Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) followed with a fielder's choice as well, but Bott scored on the play to give the Sharks an 11-3 run for the eight-run margin. 

The Lions cracked the scoring column first when Coix reached on an errant throw from the pitcher that went down the right field line to enable Coix to circle the bases before stopping at third. Santos grounded out to second to score Coix with the game's first tally. Simmons matched the run in the second when first year third base Alex Morang (Windham, Maine) cracked a leadoff double to right center and scored two outs later when Del Vacchio traded places with her after hitting a two-bagger to center. 

The Sharks plated two runs in the third after loading the bases with an out in the frame. First year catcher Shannon McMahon (El Cajon, Calif.) knocked in Vann with a sacrifice fly to left and Lowell drove in a run with a single to the pitcher to bring home Bott for a 3-1 lead. 

Eastern Nazarene knotted the game again with two runs in the top of the fourth. Santos led off the inning with a single to center and came around to score ahead of Clements' fourth homer of the season to make it 3-3. 

Sophomore right-hander Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) (1-6) picked up her first collegiate victory for Simmons, yielding three runs (two earned) on just three hits, while fanning four batters in five innings. Senior starting hurler Meghan Stanley (Bedford, Mass.) (1-4) took the loss for the Lions, giving up 11 runs (five earned) on 12 hits and five hit batters. 

The Sharks will be in action again on Saturday, April 6 when they open the Great Northeast Athletic Conference slate vs. Regis (Mass.) at 12:00 p.m. at Daly Field, while Eastern Nazarene takes on Lesley University in New England Collegiate Conference play at St. Mary's Field in Revere, Mass. on April 5 at 5:00 p.m.