BOSTON, Mass. -- Simmons Softball swept the visiting Norwich University Cadets 7-2 in game one and 4-1 in game two, improving to 22-8 overall and 15-5 in the conference. The Cadets fall to 16-14, 11-9 GNAC with two days left of the regular season.
Game One: Simmons 7, Norwich 2
The Cadets struck first as Abby Belcher reached first on an error by the Sharks and advanced Payton Warner across home plate. Erin Clark followed with a single to center field for runners at first and third but Simmons pitcher Lauren Backhaus (Windsor, Conn.) picked up one of her eight strikeouts of the day to end the inning.
Simmons rebounded in the bottom of the first as Hannah Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) led off with a single down the right field line. Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) beat out the throw to first on a bunt to move Cunningham to second and Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) singled for the tying run. Alaina DeNoncour (Johnston, R.I.) followed with a single to right field and picked up two RBIs as both Caracciolo and White came around to score for a 3-1 lead.
After a scoreless second inning, the Cadets cut the Sharks lead to one as Kelly Travers led off with a home run over the center field fence. Melissa Rome added a single but Backhaus struck out the next two batters to end the inning and maintain the lead.
The Sharks added two runs in the bottom of the fourth as Backhaus singled to center field and then scored on a single by Jen Field (Windham, Maine). H. Cunningham singled and both runners advanced on a pass ball before Caracciolo hit an RBI single to left field for the 5-2 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Cunningham recorded her third hit of the game with a single down the left field line before White hit a two-run homer, her third of the season, over the center field fence to give the Sharks the 7-2 victory.
Backhaus pitched all seven innings, giving up eight hits, one walk and striking out eight. Kaylie Miller took the loss on the mound for the Cadets, recording 14 hits, two walks and three strikeouts.
Game Two: Simmons 4, Norwich 1
In the second game, Norwich took a 1-0 lead in the first as Warner homered to left field. The Sharks quickly took the lead in the bottom half of the inning as Caracciolo singled to left field and Emily Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) hit a triple down the right line for the RBI. Cunningham then scored on a pass ball by the Cadets to take the 2-1 lead.
Simmons added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth as H. Cunningham walked and Caracciolo singled to left to give the Sharks runners at first and second. E. Cunningham grounded out to first but both runners advanced to scoring position and then scored on a pass ball for the 4-1 lead.
Amanda Cordeiro (Fall River, Mass.) picked up the win for Simmons, pitching all seven innings and giving up just one hit, one walk and struck out one, while Corinne Baita took the loss for the Cadets, recording five strikeouts.
The Sharks close out their regular season on Saturday, Apr. 19 when they host Rivier at 12:00/2:00 PM at Lasell College. Norwich hosts Johnson & Wales on Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 PM and close out their season on Sunday at Lyndon State.