BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore second base Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) was 4-8 with a home run and four runs batted in to lead the Simmons University softball team in a split with visiting Emmanuel College (Mass.) this afternoon in non-conference play at Daly Field in Brighton, Mass. The Sharks took the opener, 7-3, before the Saints rebounded with a 7-4 win in the nightcap. Simmons is now 4-16 on the season, while Emmanuel is 5-9.
The Sharks pitching staff allowed just nine hits on the day and held the Saints to a .170 (9-53) batting mark.
Santoro also scored a run for Simmons, while junior center fielder Lauren Del Vacchio (Murrieta, Calif.) finished the day going 2-5 with a pair of walks, three runs scored and an RBI. First year third base Alex Morang (Windham, Maine) was 2-6 with two runs scored and knocked in a run.
Senior Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) led Emmanuel at the plate, going 3-7 with a home run, two RBI and a run scored. First year Grace Orcutt (Lexington, Mass.) contributed with a pair of hits, including a double, in six at-bats and also drove in a run and scored twice. Junior Sarah Hoisl (West Hartford, Conn.) also contributed with a three-run triple.
The Sharks scored in five of six innings of the opener and took a 2-0 lead after single runs in the first and third frames. Santoro plated Del Vacchio in the bottom of the first with a two-out single and repeated the exact same feat in the third with Del Vacchio crossing the plate on a Santoro base-knock with two outs.
The Saints rallied for three runs with two outs in the top of the fourth to take a 3-2 edge. Orcutt brought home senior Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) with a single, before circling the bases herself ahead of a two-run blast by Sheehan that went over the left field fence to give the visitors a one-run lead. Simmons reclaimed the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Morang and classmate Allie Mulhern (Westford, Mass.) each singled to open the inning before sophomore right fielder Danielle Carson (Ashland, Mass.) pushed them both into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Del Vacchio followed with an RBI single to left and sophomore left fielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) gave the Sharks the lead with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Simmons tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth and another in the sixth. Sophomore catcher Christie Bott (Seaford, N.Y.) worked a leadoff walk and two outs later scored on a double to left off the bat of first year starting pitcher Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) to make it 5-3. Morang followed with a run-producing single to center for a three-run lead for the home team. The Sharks scored their final run with the benefit of an error in the sixth.
Castigliego (3-4) retired the first five batters of the game and allowed three runs on four hits and a walk in seven complete innings to go with three strikeouts for Simmons. Senior righthander Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) (1-5) suffered the loss for Emmanuel, giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits and four walks, while striking out two in four and two-thirds innings of action.
The Saints erupted for six runs in the sixth inning of game two to give them a four-run lead and the eventual victory. Emmanuel did not record a hit until the fifth inning when junior right fielder Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (South Boston, Mass.) led off the frame with a double to the right field gap. She stole third base, before scoring on a ground out from first year catcher Avery Webb (Hollis, N.H.) to pull Emmanuel to within 3-1. The Saints loaded the bases without an out in the sixth when first year third base Renae Lacroix (Cumberland, R.I.) and Sheehan reached on back-to-back singles before Orcutt was hit by a pitch. Junior second base Kerry Sendrick (Medway, Mass.) drew a five-pitch walk to knock in Emmanuel's second run. The Sharks were able to cut down a run at the plate on a ground ball to shortstop, but could not repeat their good fortune when Ramirez-Tejeda also grounded to short and the throw home skipped past the catcher as Orcutt scored and the bases remained full. Simmons looked to get out of the inning when sophomore reliever Hailey Yabroudy (Amherst, N.H.) induced a foul pop-up for the second out. Hoisl came through with her only hit in her sixth at-bat of the afternoon, serving a triple down the right field line to clear the bases and then scored herself on a throwing error to that sailed over third base to give the Saints a 7-3 margin.
The Sharks got a run back in the seventh on a pinch-hit single to center off the bat of Bolt to plate Carson, but it was the last run of the game for either team.
Simmons took a 2-0 lead after two frames when senior first base Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) opened the second with a walk and came around to score on Santoro's first home run of the season, which landed over the left field fence. The Sharks took advantage of an Emmanuel miscue in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead. Morang was hit by a pitch with two outs and Mulhern hit a long fly ball to center field that was dropped, enabling Morang to scamper around the bases with the home team's third run of the game.
Sophomore righty Mikaela Montemagni (Chicopee, Mass.) (3-2) earned the complete-game victory for the Saints with a 123-pitch effort that saw her yield four runs (two earned) on five hits and four walks in addition to seven strikeouts in seven frames. Senior right-hander Tori Gomes (Taunton, Mass.) (1-4) was saddled with the defeat for Simmons after giving up five runs (two earned) on three hits and a pair of walks to go with five strikeouts in five-plus innings of work.
The Sharks return to action on Wednesday, April 3 when they host Eastern Nazarene College in a 4:00 p.m. doubleheader at Daly Field, while Emmanuel welcomes Great Northeast Athletic Conference foe University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. at Clemente Field in Boston.