MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Nicole Boucher (Woonsocket, R.I.) went 5-for-8 and juniors Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine) and Paige Cormier (Rochester, N.H.) combined to allow just two runs and strike out 17 batters as the Saint Anselm College softball team recorded a pair of 4-1 victories against Saint Michael's College on Wednesday afternoon in doubleheader action at South Athletic Field.
The Hawks jump to 23-12 on the season, including 15-8 in Northeast-10 play, and take a half-game lead over crosstown rival Southern New Hampshire University in the Northeast Division standings with a 12-5 mark. The Purple Knights sink to 1-30, 1-22 NE-10, 0-17 NE-10 NE.
Saint Anselm surged out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first of game one. Boucher started the scoring by leading off with a single up the middle, stealing second and coming around on a single through the middle from sophomore Emily Crannell (Wilmington, Mass.). Junior Hannah Byrne (Lynn, Mass.) delivered another run on an infield single to third, with a second run scoring on the play after the ball was thrown around the diamond.
The Hawks went up 4-0 in the second as sophomore Pattie Turner (Warwick, R.I.) drew a one-out walk, moved to second on Boucher's single through the right side, advanced to third on Crannell's fielder's choice groundout and scored on a wild pitch.
Saint Michael's made it onto the board in the fifth when Greer Lemnah singled home Sarah Bagley, who pinch ran for Caroline Staples following a leadoff walk.
Trask (13-5) allowed just the one run on five hits, while striking out 12 and walking one over 7.0 innings. The 12 punchouts match her season best for the third time and are just one shy of her career high.
Boucher was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while classmate Olivia Story (Middleton, Mass.) went 2-for-3. Turner was 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored, with Crannell and Byrne each going 1-for-3 with an RBI.
The Purple Knights grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second of game two when Sarah Murray hit a one-out solo home run to right field.
The Hawks would answer back with four in the bottom of the frame as back-to-back doubles by senior Monique Gauthier (Canton, Conn.) and Story started it. A double from Turner later in the inning put Saint Anselm on top for good before two more came home on Crannell's fly ball that was dropped by the centerfielder.
Cormier (10-7) would make the four-run outburst stand up as she went the distance and gave up just the one run on four hits, while fanning five and walking two.
Boucher went 3-for-4, while Turner (RBI, run), Gauthier (run), Story (RBI), Byrne and junior Kasey Moran (Medford, Mass.; run) were all 1-for-3. Sophomore Julie LeClair (Taunton, Mass.) was 1-for-2 with a walk.
The Hawks return to action Thursday, April 24 at 3 p.m. when they play host to Bentley University on Senior Day. 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.