NEWTON, Mass. – Simmons College juniors Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) (five) and Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) (six) combined to knock in 11 runs to lead the Simmons College softball team to a doubleheader sweep over Lasell College, 11-0 and 11-2, this afternoon in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference match-up in Newton, Mass. The games were both called after five innings, due to the eight-run mercy rule, and played on the campus of Lasell, but Simmons was the home team. The Sharks win their third straight to improve to 13-10 overall and 10-4 in league play, while the Lasers fall to 8-19 and 5-10.
The Sharks cruised to a game one victory with 11 runs in the first three innings. Whitefueled Simmons' offensive output in the bottom of the first with a home run to left field for her first career grand slam to give the Sharks a 5-0 lead. Prior to the grand slam, senior starting pitcher Lauren Backhaus (Windsor, Conn.) reached on an error with two outs, sophomore Kat Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass.) reached when she was hit by a pitch and senior designated player Jess Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.)drew a walk to load the bases. Sophomore left fielder Katie Nosky (Dedham, Mass.)worked a walk to force in the first run of the contest.
Simmons added three more runs in the bottom of the second sparked by a bunt single laid down by senior left fielder Jen Field (Windham, Maine), who then stole second and scored on a single by senior shortstop Hannah Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.). Cunningham later scored on a ground out and Guillotte plated the eighth run of the game for the Sharks with a double to left center to score Caracciolo, who had reached on an error.
Simmons put up another three-spot in the third frame sparked by a leadoff round tripper off the bat of White to give her the first two-homer effort of her collegiate career. Field later ripped a single to the opposite field and trotted home following a two-run homer off the bat of Caracciolo for her third blast of the season and an 11-0 advantage.
Backhaus (8-3) allowed just two hits to earn the 22nd shutout victory of her collegiate career for the Sharks, while striking out five and issuing a walk. Eileen Bergin (4-9) suffered the loss for Lasell, allowing five unearned runs on one hit and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.
Simmons got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning when Cunningham smacked a leadoff single through the left side and later scored on a ground out by Uschmann to give the home team a 1-0 edge. The Lasers answered in the top of the second when junior center fielder Emily DeAngelis (Shelton, Conn.) launched a high home run to left field for her team-leading fifth of the year. Lasell took its first lead of the afternoon in the third when senior third baseman Denise Archetto (Cranston, R.I.) reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and scored on a single through the left side by junior catcher Nicole LeBlanc (Easton, Mass.) to give the Lasers a 2-1 margin.
The Sharks broke the game open in the third, sending 14 batters to the plate and taking advantage of three errors to score a season-high 10 runs to take an 11-2 cushion. Caracciolo paced Simmons in the frame with a single and a double to drive in four runs, while Field also collected two hits and drove in a run. Uschmann also plated a run with a single in the inning.
First year starting pitcher Juliet Nelson (Cumberland, R.I.) (5-3) tossed the complete game five-inning victory for the Sharks, yielding two runs on five hits and a walk to go with a pair of strikeouts, while sophomore hurler Krystel Enko (Haydenville, Mass.) (4-6) was saddled with the loss for the Lasers, giving up 11 runs (six earned) on eight hits and three bases on balls in two and a third innings of work.
White finished the day going 2-3 with five runs batted in and three runs scored, while Caracciolo was 3-5 with a double and a homer to drive in six runs and scored three times for Simmons. Field was 4-4 with four runs scored, a stolen base and an RBI and Cunningham was 3-6 with four runs scored and a pair of runs driven in.
Junior second baseman Erin Larghi (Wakefield, R.I.) helped pace the Lasell offense, going 3-4 on the day, while sophomore shortstop Erin Smith (Gorham, Maine) was 2-4. DeAngelis knocked in a run and scored a run as well for the Lasers.
The Sharks return to action on Wednesday, April 15 when they travel to Northfield, Vt. to take on GNAC foe Norwich University at 3:00 p.m., while Lasell hosts Norwich tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.