BRIARCLIFF, N.Y. – Senior Monique Gauthier (Canton, Mass.) led with five hits, including four doubles and a homerun as the Saint Anselm College softball team split with Pace University (W, 5-2, L, 4-5) on Saturday afternoon at Pace Field as the Hawks opened up Northeast-10 Conference play.
The Hawks move to 7-5 overall, including 1-1 in the NE-10, while the Setters are 2-10, 1-1 NE-10.
The Hawks put up three runs in the first inning, beginning when junior Kasey Moran (Medford, Mass.) scored on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Emily Crannell (Wilmington, Mass.). The bunt was misplayed by the Pace defense and allowed Crannell to also score on the play. Leading 2-0, Gauthier put the Hawks up 3-0 when she scored after doubling to center to get on base.
Saint Anselm increased the lead to five when junior Hannah Byrne (Lynn, Mass.) hit a two-run shot over the left-center field fence. Senior Gina Treglia (Fairfield, Conn.), who reached on single, rounded the bases with Byrne.
Pace earned back runs in the sixth and the seventh, chipping away at the Saint Anselm lead, but the Setter rally came up short and the game ended, 5-2. The Hawk defense played solid through the final two innings, leaving five Pace runners on base.
Junior pitcher Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine) keeps her unblemished record at 6-0 and pitched the complete game for Saint Anselm, striking out six.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Pace jumped out to a 2-0 lead, before the Hawks cut the deficit to one in the third. Saint Anselm jumped on the board when Moran scored on a Gauthier double to center.
The Setters responded by pushing the lead back to two in the fourth, before Saint Anselm tied the game in the fifth with a pair of solo homeruns from Crannell and Gauthier.
Pace took back the lead at 4-3 in the following inning, but Saint Anselm came back to tie it in the sixth when Crannell hit a double to left to score Byrne, who reached on a walk.
The Setters earned the walk-off win, 5-4, in the bottom of the seventh when a Saint Anselm error allowed the winning run to score.
Saint Anselm pitcher Paige Cormier (Rochester, N.H.) struck out three batters in the loss. Both Crannell and Gauthier were 3-for-4 at the plate for Saint Anselm.
The Hawks will return to action Sunday, March 23 at 12 p.m. when they play a pair of games with Adelphi. 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.