CLERMONT, Fla. – Junior Christie Bott (Seaford, N.Y.) went 5-6 and knocked in seven runs, while sophomore pitcher Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) allowed just five hits over nine innings en-route to earning a win and a save to lead the Simmons University softball team to a 4-1 victory over Plymouth State University and an 8-5 win over Delaware Valley College today at the Hancock Recreational Complex in Clermont, Fla. as part of THE Spring Games. The Sharks win their fourth straight game to improve to 5-1 on the season for their best start since the 2014 season, while Plymouth State falls to 5-4 and Delaware Valley slips to 0-8.
Bott hit for the cycle between the two games with a home run, a triple, two doubles and a single in addition to scoring a run and reaching base via two walks for Simmons. Castigliego (2-0) allowed an unearned run on just three hits and struck out two batters to improve to 2-0 in the day's first game against Plymouth State. She closed out the second game, hurling two innings of two-hit ball, while striking out one and allowing one walk to earn the save against Delaware Valley.
Senior outfielder Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) was 4-7 with a double, two RBI, a walk, a stolen base and four runs scored for the Sharks, while junior outfielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) finished the day going 3-4 with a home run. Sophomores Alex Morang (Windham, Maine) and Allie Mulhern (Westford, Mass.) each contributed with three hits apiece for Simmons.
The Sharks led for most of the game vs. Plymouth State, before the Panthers scored their only run of the day to tie the score at 1-1 in the sixth. Senior second base Abby Henderson (Rochester, N.H.) reached on a one-out error in the bottom of the sixth and moved to third on a single to right field off the bat of sophomore left fielder Lauren Archambault (Rehoboth, Mass.). Sophomore first base Madison Harris (Randolph, Mass.) plated Henderson with a deep sacrifice fly to center field for the tying run.
Simmons loaded the bases in the top of the seventh with one out after first year pinch-hitter Adlyn Hernandez (Miami, Fla.) drew a walk, Del Vacchio singled to center and Mulhern reached on a bunt single. Panthers senior starting pitcher Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) induced a ground ball to third that resulted in a force out at home to put Plymouth State an out away from escaping the Sharks threat. Bott came through with the bases still loaded, stroking a 3-1 pitch to right center field that glanced off the center fielder's glove as all three runners came around to score to give Simmons a 4-1 lead. Castigliego set the Panthers down in order in the bottom of the frame to earn the victory.
The Sharks got on the board in the top of the first inning when Del Vacchio worked a leadoff walk and later scored on a two-out double to center off the bat of Bott to give them a 1-0 edge.
Bott finished the contest a home run short of hitting for the cycle and was one of four Simmons batters with multiple hits, joining Del Vacchio, Mulhern and Vann, who each rapped out two hits. Henderson, Archambault and first year designated player Sam McCann (Berlin, N.H.) each collected a hit for the Panthers.
Miller (4-2) suffered the loss for Plymouth State after giving up four runs on 10 hits and four walks to go with three strikeouts.
Simmons and Delaware Valley combined for 24 hits and 13 runs in the Sharks victory. Simmons scored six times in the first two innings to take a 6-1 lead it would not relinquish, en-route to its victory over DVU.
Del Vacchio doubled to open the bottom of the first and moved to third on a bunt single by Mulhern to set up a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior left fielder Molly Hennessey (Charlton, Mass.) to give the Sharks a 1-0 edge.
First year second base Jessica Stewart (Aston, Pa.) cracked a leadoff double to left field and later scored on a two-out bunt single from sophomore right fielder Adina Brucie (Horseheads, N.Y.) to knot the game at 1-1 for the Aggies. Simmons opened the game up with a five-run second after seeing the first four batters reach base. Morang singled to open the frame, followed by first year first base Sam Barr's (Harwich, Mass.) first collegiate hit with a line drive to right and a walk from junior right fielder Danielle Carson (Ashland, Mass.) to load the bases. Del Vacchio delivered with two-run single off the left field fence, before Bott crushed a two-out three-run homer to center, two batters later, to give the Sharks a 6-1 margin.
Delaware Valley cut the deficit to 6-2 with a run in the fourth. Sophomore starting pitcher Olivia Monismith (Newville, Pa.) opened the inning with a double and later scored on an error. The Aggies put three more runs on the board in the fifth to pull to within 6-5. Stewart drove in a pair of runs with a single and Monismith followed with a run-scoring single of her own to make it a one-run game.
Simmons held off Delaware Valley in the final two frames, while tacking on a single run in both the fifth and sixth innings to take an 8-5 lead. Carson knocked in a run with a single in the fifth and Vann crushed a pitch far over the center field fence for a solo homer in the sixth for the game's final run.
Bott and Del Vacchio each registered multiple hits and runs batted in for the Sharks, while Barr, junior second base Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) and Morang each rapped out a pair of hits in the game. Monosmith and Brucie each knocked in a run with three and two hits, respectively, while Stewart plated two runs with two hits for the Aggies.
Senior right-handed hurler Alex Soqui (Acushnet, Mass.) (2-1) picked up the win for Simmons, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk in four and two-thirds innings to go with five strikeouts, while Monosmith (0-3) took the loss after allowing eight runs on 13 hits and three walks to go with a pair of strikeouts for Delaware Valley.
The Sharks return to action tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. when they take on Bates College at Legends Way Ballfields in Clermont, Fla.