WESTON, Mass. – Simmons Softball fell to the visiting Saint Joseph's College (Me.) Monks 7-0 and 5-3 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference showdown Friday evening at the Regis College field. The Monks took contorl in the top of the seventh in both games to power past the Sharks and remain undefeated in the conference (20-2, 12-0 GNAC). The Sharks drop to 15-7 overall and 8-4 in the GNAC.
Game One: Saint Joseph's (Me.) 7, Simmons 0
In game one, the Monks took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Kim Jordan hit a homer over the left field wall. Emiy Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) hit a double to right field in the bottom of the inning to give the Sharks the tying run on base but the Monks made the final out to maintain the lead. In the top of the second, Theresa Hendrix reached first and then advanced to second on an Sharks error and Victoria Ramons hit a two-out single to score Hendrix for the Monks 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Alaina DeNoncour (Johnston, R.I.) led off with a single to right field. Brianna Rastello (Salem, N.H.) came in to pinch run and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by pitcher Lauren Backhaus (Winsor, Conn.). Junior Jen Field (Windham, Maine) hit a perfectly placed bunt down the left field line and beat out the throw to give Sharks runners at first and third but Monks pitcher Rae-Marie Copan and the Saint Joseph's defense made the final two outs to keep the 2-0 lead.
The Monks added five runs in the top of the seventh as Melissa Mayhew homered to center field Carla Tripp and Jennifer Murphy scored on a Sharks error and Lindsay Moore singled to score Kim Jordan. Danica Gleason grounded out to second but Connie Grovo scored on the play for the 7-0 margin. Field hit a single for the Sharks in the bottom half of the inning but the Sharks were unable to convert.
With the win, Copan moves to 10-0 on the season pitching all seven innings with one walk and four strikeouts. Backhaus (7-3) takes the loss for the Sharks, pitching six innings with eight strikeouts.
Game Two: Saint Jospeh's 5, Simmons 3
The Monks took a 1-0 lead in the first as Jordan singled and then scored on a single by Gleason. Simmons sophomore Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) singled to left field for the Sharks and Emily Cunningham reached first on a fielder's choice. Heather White walked and then advanced to second on a pass ball but the Monks made the third out to end the inning.
After a scoreless second, Saint Joseph's added a run in the third as Hendrix hit a ground ball to second base to score Moore from third. The Sharks scored their first run on the day when Field singled to left field and advancecd to second on a sac bunt by Rastello. Emily Cunningham singled to score Field to cut the Monks lead 2-1.
The Monks started the fourth with a single by Megen Pollini. Victoria Ramos hit a popup that was heading foul off the first base line when Sharks first year Kat Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass.) ran in from third base to make a diving catch and then picked Pollini off first. Carla Tripp hit a two out single and then scored on a wild pitch to increase the Monks lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Rastello hit a single up the middle to lead off for the Sharks. Caracciolo advanced Rastello to second on a sac bunt and E. Cunningham found the hole between first and second to score Rastello.
Down by one, the Sharks made two quick outs in the top of the seventh but a defensive error cost the hosts two runs as Moore and Hendrix scored for the 5-3 lead. Simmons picked up one in their last at bat as White doubled to center field to score Caracciolo but the Monks defense made the final out to secure the win. Erica Boulanger added her second win of the year for the Monks while Amanda Cordeiro took the loss for Simmons.
The Sharks return to action on Saturday at Lasell College for a doubleheader beginning at 12PM. The Monks host Albertus Magnus at 1:00/3:00 PM in more conference action.