Santoro, Del Vacchio Lead Softball to Sweep at Saint Joseph's (ME), 6-4, 9-6

Santoro, Del Vacchio Lead Softball to Sweep at Saint Joseph's (ME), 6-4, 9-6

STANDISH, Maine - Sophomore shortstop Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) reached base safely seven times, including six hits, while junior center fielder Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) was 5-8 with three runs batted in to lead the Simmons University softball team in a doubleheader sweep over host Saint Joseph's College (Maine), winning the first game, 6-4, before taking the nightcap, 9-6, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action today at Richard Bailey Field in Standish, Maine. The Sharks win their fourth straight game to improve to 14-20 overall and 8-2 in league play, while the Monks fall to 10-15 and 8-2.

Simmons registered double-digit hits in both games and finished the day with 24 base knocks.

Santoro was 6-7 with a walk and a run scored for the Sharks, while Del Vacchio doubled, walked and scored three times on the day. Sophomore left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) was 3-7 with a pair of doubles, four RBI, three runs scored and a pair of walks. Sophomore right fielder Danielle Carson (Ashland, Mass.) finished 3-8 with a double and a run scored and senior first base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) drove in three runs with a pair of singles. Sophomore catcher Christie Bott (Seaford, N.Y.) made her only hit count with her first collegiate home run to plate two runs.

Junior Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine) led Saint Joseph's, going 5-8 with a triple, two RBI and a pair of runs scored, while senior Melodie Bailey (Lebanon, Maine) was 4-6 with a run batted in and two runs scored. Junior Katie Chadbourne (Jaffrey, N.H.) was 4-7 with a double and junior Maizie Lee (Saco, Maine) led all players with five runs batted in on a triple and a home run.

The Sharks trailed 4-3 after three innings, but scored single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings to come away with the game one victory.

Simmons put the first three batters on base to begin the top of the fourth. First year shortstop Allie Mulhern (Westford, Mass.) was hit by a pitch to begin the frame, followed by a single from Carson and a run-scoring single off the bat of Del Vacchio to tie the score at 4-4. Del Vacchio figured in the scoring again in the sixth when she ripped a one-out double and Vann traded places with her on an RBI-double to center to plate Del Vacchio and give the Sharks a 5-4 edge. Santoro stroked a leadoff single in the seventh and later scored on a sacrifice fly to right from first year catcher Shannon McMahon (El Cajon, Calif.) for a 6-4 margin.

The Sharks scored the first three runs of the game with two in the first and one in the second. Del Vacchio led the game off with a single, before Vann walked to set up a two-run single from Ortiz to put the visitors on the board. Mulhern reached on a fielder's choice in the second and later scored on a single from Del Vacchio to make it 3-0 for Simmons.

The Monks took their only lead of the afternoon after scoring four times in the bottom of the third. Pomerleau and senior Meghan Elliott (Mendon, Mass.) each singled ahead of a Bailey RBI single to crack the scoring column for Saint Joseph's. Lee gave the home team the lead when she crushed a three-run home run to give the Monks a 4-3 edge.

First year starting pitcher Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) (8-5) earned the victory after allowing four runs (three earned) on 12 hits and a pair of walks to go with two strikeouts for the Sharks, while sophomore right-hander Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) picked up her first collegiate save following two and two-thirds innings of one-hit shutout relief and a strikeout. Junior Kate Whitney (Jonesboro, Maine) suffered the loss for Saint Joseph's, giving up five runs on 10 hits and two walks to go with a strikeout.

Simmons scored multiple runs in three different innings, including a four-run fourth to give the Sharks all the runs they would need for the win.

Simmons took advantage of an error to contribute to a three-run second inning. The Sharks put McMahon (fielder's choice) and first year third base Alex Morang (base on balls) on base before Mulhern reached on an error to score McMahon with the game's first run. Simmons tacked on another run with Morang on third and Mulhern on first, before the pair successfully pulled off a double-steal that saw Morang steal home for a 2-0 margin. Del Vacchio later struck a two-out single to plate Mulhern with the third run of the frame.

The Monks answered in the bottom of the third when they also took advantage of a miscue as part of a two-run frame. First year Ashley Emery (Madison, Maine) reached on an error by the Sharks center fielder and came around to score on a Pomerleau triple to center. Pomerleau scampered home on a sacrifice fly to left field from junior Madisyn Charest (Sidney, Maine) to pull the home team to within 3-2. 

Simmons got some breathing room after scoring four times in the fourth and twice in the sixth to take a 9-2 advantage. Mulhern and Carson laced consecutive one-out singles, before Del Vacchio worked a walk to load the bases for Vann, who knocked in three runs with a double to center and give the Sharks a 6-2 margin. Ortiz later knocked in Vann with a two-out single to right field for the team's seventh run. Vann ripped a single to lead off the frame, before Bott launched her first career homer for runs number eight and nine for Simmons.

Saint Joseph's rallied for four runs in its half of the sixth to close to within 9-6, but it was as close as the Monks would get. Elliott singled through the left side to open the frame and Bailey was hit by a pitch before Lee came through again with a two-run triple to right center to make it 9-4. Burns knocked in the Monks' fifth run, before Pomerleau also drove in a run with an RBI-single and put a pair of runners on the bases with the tying run at the plate. Yabroudy was able to retire Charest with a groundout to end the game for the Sharks.

Yabroudy went the distance to improve to 5-7 for Simmons, allowing six runs (four earned) in nine hits and a walk to go with a strikeout. Junior Caitlyn King (Old Town, Maine) was tagged with the loss for Saint Joseph's (5-7), giving up nine runs (eight earned) on 13 hits and three walks in addition to striking out three batters.

The Sharks return to the diamond on Wednesday, April 24 when they host GNAC foe Lasell College at Daly Field for a 5:00 p.m. first pitch, while the Monks head to Gorham, Maine on April 23 to play University of Southern Maine at 5:00 p.m.