EAST BOSTON, Mass. – The sixth-seeded Emmanuel College softball team scored on a throwing error to supply the only run it would need in a 1-0 victory over number four seed Simmons College this afternoon in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament Semifinals at American Legion Playground in East Boston, Mass. The Saints improve to 20-16 on the season, while the Sharks fall to 18-15. Emmanuel advances to take on third-seeded Saint Joseph's College (Maine) later today.
Sophomore starting pitcher Jill Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.) threw a complete game three-hitter for the Saints, while walking four and striking out nine to improve to 13-6 on the season.
Emmanuel scored the game's only run in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore first baseman Susie Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) and sophomore right fielder Erin Walsh (Granby, Conn.) began the frame with back-to-back singles, before sophomore designated player Samantha Adams (Sanford, Maine) drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Simmons senior starting pitcher Lauren Backhaus (Windsor, Conn.) induced a come-backer to the mound and threw home to get the force at the plate, but the catcher's throw to first to complete the double play was too high, enabling Walsh to score the only run of the contest.
The Sharks put at least one runner in scoring position in each of the first four innings, but were unable to score each time. Senior shortstop Hannah Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) and sophomore third baseman Kat Guillotte (New Bedford, Mass.) each drew a walk in the top of the first to put Cunningham on second with one out, but Kilcoyne struck out the final two batters of the inning to strand the runners. Simmons received a leadoff double off the bat of sophomore right fielder Katie Nosky (Dedham, Mass.) in the second, but a ground out and two more strikeouts by Kilcoyne ended the rally. The Sharks put runners on second and third in the third inning, following a walk issued to junior second baseman Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) and a double to left center from Backhaus, but Kilcoyne induced a pop-up to squelch the threat. Nosky opened the fourth with another double, but again was stranded as Kilcoyne got the next three outs for the Saints.
Kieselback, Walsh and junior shortstop Catherine Davis (Wethersfield, Conn.) each collected a single for Emmanuel, while Nosky ripped a pair of doubles and Backhaus singled to lead the Simmons offense.
Backhaus (11-7) suffered the loss for the Sharks, allowing one unearned run on three hits and two walks, while fanning two.
Simmons will await to see if they are chosen to play in the Eastern College Athletic Conference to extend its season.