Softball downs No. 18 Caldwell, falls to Lewis

CLERMONT, Fla.Shannon McLaughlin went 5-for-7 and drove in four runs on the day as the Saint Anselm College softball team tamed No. 18 Caldwell University 10-1 before falling 7-4 to Lewis University on Thursday at the Spring Games.

Saint Anselm 10, No. 18 Caldwell 1 | Box

Saint Anselm (1-3) broke open a 2-1 game with a five-spot in the top of the fifth and went on to top Caldwell (0-1) for its first win over a ranked opponent since April 12, 2015. Sam Hennequin turned in a complete game for the Hawks, holding the Cougars to four hits and one unearned run with six strikeouts to pick up the victory.

Shannon McLaughlin led the charge offensively by going 3-for-4 with a run and three RBI as the Hawks pounded out 13 hits. Amanda Bickford reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs and two RBI. Leiandra Wilson had a pair of RBI singles as part of a 2-for-4 game and Megan Murrell also knocked in two runs.

Saint Anselm got on the board first in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Murrell that scored Bickford, who led off the inning with a walk. Caldwell got the run back in the bottom of the third, as Melissa Rini scored on a throwing error following a wild pitch with two outs.

Four singles in the top of the fourth got the Hawks back in front, 2-1. Murrell and Maggie Murphy hit back-to-back singles with one out and two batters later, McLaughlin singled on the middle to load the bases with two away. Wilson followed with a single up the middle of her own to score Murrell with Murphy being gunned down at home on the play.

After a 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth by Hennequin, Saint Anselm blew the game open in the top of the fifth with five runs on four hits. The Hawks loaded the bases with nobody out and got a run on a bases-loaded, four-pitch walk to Jordan O'Connor. Murrell was next and hit her second sacrifice fly of the game to make it 3-1. Two batters later with two outs, McLaughlin cleared the bases with a double over the left fielder's head for the big hit of the inning.

Caldwell mounted its best chance to score in the bottom of the sixth, putting its first two batters on and loading the bases with two outs, but Hennequin escaped with a pop out to O'Connor at short. Saint Anselm tacked on three runs in the seventh, getting a RBI single from Wilson and a two-run single from Bickford to end the scoring.

Lewis 7, Saint Anselm 4 | Box

Later in the day, Lewis (9-4) raced out to an early 4-0 lead and held on to defeat Saint Anselm 7-4. The Flyers got hits from 10 different hitters, while six Lewis batters drove in at least one run.

McLaughlin recorded a pair of hits in three at-bats for the Hawks and also drove in a run. Murphy also reached base twice, going 1-for-2 with a walk, a double, two runs and one RBI. Wilson and Madison Borrelli also plated runs for Saint Anselm.

Freshman Morgan Perry went the distance in the circle and allowed just two unearned runs among the seven runs. Lainie Schweickert tossed a complete game for Lewis, allowing four runs on six hits to improve to 2-1 on the season.

After Perry retired the first two batters, Lewis put four runs on the board in the first. Following an error, Sarah DeMasi laced a two-run home run to center to start the scoring. Later in the inning, Carley Maupin and Kendyl Strack added run-scoring hits for the Flyers.

Lewis added a run in the top of the fourth on a RBI double by Carly Jaworski before Saint Anselm got on the board with three in the bottom of the frame as the first four batters of the inning reached base. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Murphy drove a double to right-center field to score Karoline Leavitt. McLaughlin followed with a RBI single to left to score Murrell and two batters later, Wilson plated Murphy with a single through the left side before a double play ended the rally.

The Flyers scored single runs in the fifth and sixth to go ahead 7-3. Borrelli drove in the final run of the game, the first of her collegiate career, with a groundout in the bottom of the sixth after a walk to Murphy and a double by McLaughlin left runners on second and third with one out.

Saint Anselm faces Minnesota Duluth and No. 19 Indianapolis on Friday, March 10 at Legends Way Ballfields at 3:30 and 6 p.m.

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