WALTHAM, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College softball team completed a 3-1 weekend at Bentley by splitting two games on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks rallied from an early deficit to take the opener, 6-4, before the Falcons posted a 5-4 non-conference win in game two at Bentley Softball Field.
With the game-one win, Saint Anselm (13-14, 11-7 NE10) won the regular-season series with Bentley (9-21, 4-14 NE10) for the seventh-straight year. Over that span, the Hawks are 20-3 against the Falcons.
Saint Anselm 6, Bentley 4 | Box
In the opener, Saint Anselm overcame an early 3-0 deficit, scoring three in the fifth and two in the sixth, to claim a 6-4 victory. Five hitters had two hits apiece for the Hawks and Sam Hennequin turned in 5.2 innings of one-run ball in relief in the comeback win.
The Hawks pounded 12 hits for their seventh double-digit hit game of the season. Madison Borrelli was 2-for-3 with two RBI and Megan Murrell went 2-for-4 with two RBI for Saint Anselm. Maggie Murphy reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, two runs and one RBI.
After Bentley took the early 3-0 lead, Hennequin replaced Perry and the senior allowed just one run on five hits in 5.2 innings with one walk and seven strikeouts to pick up her ninth win of the season. The senior's seven strikeouts brought her into triple digits for the season, marking the eighth time since 2000 a Saint Anselm pitcher has topped the century mark in strikeouts in a season. The previous seven times were done by just three pitchers (Andrea Messina – 2001-03, Tayla Trask – 2013-15 and Shannon Dalton - 2011).
The Falcons had 11 hits of their own in the game but managed just a single run after the three-run first. Chelsea Vena went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and one RBI and Juliana Romeo was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for Bentley. Four pitchers worked in the game for Bentley with Kayleigh Fitzpatrick taking the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in 3.1 innings of relief.
After Bentley starter Michelle DeVito left the bases loaded in the top of the first, the Falcons put three runs on the board in the bottom of the inning. After Kelsey Kennedy's sacrifice fly opened the scoring, the Falcons scored on an RBI double by Vena and a run-scoring single by Romeo. Saint Anselm got one of the runs back in the top of the second, as Shannon Colson walked to start the inning, stole second and scored on Borrelli's double to left center.
The Falcons threatened to add to their 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with one out against Perry, but Hennequin came on and got out of the jam with a fly out and a strikeout.
Bentley continued to lead 3-1 until Saint Anselm plated three runs on five hits in the fifth. Run-scoring singles by Murrell and McLaughlin tied it at 3-3 with one out, before Borrelli put the Hawks on top with a go-ahead, two-out RBI single up the middle.
Saint Anselm tacked on two more in the sixth with Murphy tripling in Michaela Kane and later scoring on a double off the bat of Murrell. Bentley got a run in its final at-bat on a wild pitch, but Hennequin finished off the Falcons to seal the win.
Bentley 5, Saint Anselm 4 | Box
In game two, Bentley got five innings of one-hit relief from Fitzpatrick and a go-ahead RBI double from Kennedy in the fifth to pick up a 5-4 victory in a non-conference game.
After entering the game in the third inning, Fitzpatrick limited Saint Anselm to a Kayleigh Scoville single to open the fourth, as she retired the final 12 batters for the Falcons. Jordan O'Connor was 1-for-2 with a two-run double for the Hawks, while Scoville and Karoline Leavitt provided the other two hits.
Perry suffered the loss for Saint Anselm despite holding Bentley to one run on four hits in 4.1 innings after taking over for Hennequin, who worked the first 1.2 innings. Stephanie McQuaid did most of the damage offensively for the Falcons, going 2-for-3 with a three-run double, while Kennedy also had two hits.
Saint Anselm raced out to a 4-0 lead, scoring four runs on just two hits in the top of the second. With Scoville on first and two outs, Leavitt singled through the left side and O'Connor followed with a two-run double down the left-field line. O'Connor scored on a throwing error on a bunt by Colson, who came around to score on a wild pitch after stealing third.
Bentley came right back with four of its own in the bottom of the fourth to tie it up. After a bases-loaded fielder's choice scored the first run of the inning, McQuaid provided the big hit of the inning with a two-out, bases-clearing double to right center, although she was gunned down at third on the play.
The Falcons broke the 4-4 tie in the home half of the fifth, as Kennedy doubled in pinch-runner Sami Palazzolo with two away for the game-winning run.
Saint Anselm is slated for six games next week to wrap up the regular season, beginning with a home matchup with Saint Michael's on Tuesday, April 25. The Hawks and Purple Knights will play a single game at 4 p.m.