CLERMONT, Fla.- The Saint Anselm College softball team wrapped up their trip to Clermont, Fla., as they split a pair of games with Saint Xavier, losing the first game by a score of 2-0 and winning the second by a one-run margin at 3-2, Saturday afternoon at the National Training Center.
Saint Anselm now stands at 2-8 to begin the 2013 spring season, while the Cougars move to 2-2 overall.
In the first game of the day, the Hawks were given a superb start by Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine), who went six innings, only giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out five.
Saint Xavier was first to jump on the board in the bottom of the second inning when Ashley Sullivan hit the ball back up the middle into center field, scoring the runner on third base to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
The score remained this way until the bottom of the fifth, when Katie Houlihan hit an inside the park home run down the left field line.
Kasey Moran (Medford, Mass.) had a solid day at the plate for the Hawks against Cougar pitcher Megan Nonnemacher as she went 2-for-3 with a couple singles and a stolen base. Nonnemacher pitched seven innings, scattering three hits and striking out five.
In game two, Saint Anselm struck first in the bottom of the second when Julie LeClair (Taunton, Mass.) earned a one-out walk. After LeClair stole second base, Nicole Boucher (Woonsocket, R.I.) drove her in as she blooped a single over the first baseman's head, giving Saint Anselm a 1-0 lead.
The Hawks added two runs to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Hannah Byrne (Lynn, Mass.) crushed a double that hopped to the left field fence, plating both Kasey Moran (Medford, Mass.) and Monique Gauthier (Canton, Conn.), who reached on an error and a hit-by-pitch, respectively.
The Cougars earned two runs back in the top of the sixth against Saint Anselm starter Paige Cormier (Rochester, N.H.). After a walk and a single from Ariel Hinton, Saint Xavier had runners on first and third with just one out. Amanda Hainlen then cranked a single through the left side, scoring one run for the Cougars. Cormier walked the next two batters forcing in another run to make the score 3-2.
Trask was called upon for relief with the bases loaded – and delivered as she struck out the next two batters in seven pitches to preserve the 3-2 win.
The Cougars did threaten in the top of the seventh inning, however, when they had runners on first and second with no outs. Trask settled down and induced a 6-3 double play, which resulted in one runner on second base with two outs. With the tying run just sixty feet away, Trask retired the final batter via strikeout to end the game.
Saint Anselm opens its home slate Tuesday, March 19 when it plays a double-header with Saint Michael's College at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Stay up-to-date with the latest news, including game previews and recaps, directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department by liking us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/STAHawks) and following us on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/STAHawks).