Softball Halves Doubleheader with Merrimack

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Junior Monique Gauthier (Canton, Conn.) went 3-for-5, homered and drove in four runs to help lift the Saint Anselm College softball team to a 13-8 victory against Merrimack College in second game of doubleheader action at Warrior Diamond on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks were edged, 5-4, in game one.

The Hawks are now 17-18 on the season, including 13-10 in Northeast-10 play and 10-5 in the Northeast Division. The Warriors move to 17-17, 10-8 NE-10, 8-5 NE-10 NE.

Gauthier staked the visitors to a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the first, but the Warriors answered back with a three-run homer off the bat of Jaclyn Giovannini in the bottom of the frame to grab a 3-1 advantage.

RBI singles in the second inning from senior Lauren Galavotti (Marion, Mass.) and freshman Julie LeClair (Taunton, Mass.) knotted the game, but Merrimack responded again in the bottom of the frame when Tawny Palmieri plated a pair with a single up the middle that put the Warriors back on top, 5-3.

Saint Anselm tied it once again in the third when sophomore Hannah Byrne (Lynn, Mass.) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to right and freshman Pattie Turner (Warwick, R.I.) scampered home on a passed ball.

Merrimack went back on top, 6-5, in the third on Nicole LoPilato's solo shot to left, but the Hawks would finally take the lead in the fourth. LeClair's RBI groundout tied things up at 6-all before Gauthier's run-scoring single to center made it 7-6.

Sophomore Hayley Lombard (Boynton Beach, Fla.) gave the Hawks some breathing room with an RBI single to center in the fifth. Two more RBI base hits from Turner and Byrne opened the Saint Anselm lead to 10-6 in the sixth.

Ashley Perry's solo home run to left-center and Keaira Perry's RBI triple to right sliced the Merrimack deficit in half in the bottom of the frame, but the Hawks widened the gap in the seventh. LeClair came through with an RBI double to right before Gauthier delivered the knockout blow – a two-run jack center that set the Hawks up with a five-run cushion.

Sophomore Paige Cormier (Rochester, N.H.) earned the win to improve to 9-7 as she allowed eight runs – five earned – on 13 hits, while striking out four and walking one over 7.0 innings.

Galavotti finished her day 3-for-5 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. LeClair (3 RBI, 3 R) and Lombard (RBI, R) were each 2-for-4, while Byrne was a perfect 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored.

Merrimack jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning of game one before junior Nicole Boucher (Woonsocket, R.I.) crushed a three-run long ball to right to tie the game in the second. Ashley Perry's two-run single up the middle in the bottom of the frame put the Warriors back in the lead at 5-3. LeClair would trim the deficit in half with an RBI single to right in the fifth, but that was as close as the Hawks would get as Merrimack retired the final six in a row.

Sophomore Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine) dropped to 8-11 after giving up five runs – three earned – on nine hits, while fanning 10 and not walking a batter over 6.0 innings.

Boucher was 1-for-2 with three RBI and a pair of runs, while LeClair (RBI), Galavotti and Turner (R) were each 1-for-3.

The Hawks return to action Tuesday, April 23 as they head back to Warrior Diamond to take on Merrimack in a doubleheader that begins at 3 p.m. The next home game for the Hawks is Wednesday, April 24 when they play host to crosstown rival Southern New Hampshire University in doubleheader action that begins at 3 p.m. at Sullivan Park. 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 and following us on Twitter @STAHawks.