WALTHAM, Mass. – The 35-day wait couldn't have gone any better for the Saint Anselm College softball team Saturday afternoon. The Hawks, who took to the field for the first time since March 7, completed a two-game sweep of Bentley University to pick up their first two wins of the Northeast-10 Conference season, 4-0 and 6-3 in nine innings.
Saint Anselm improves to 10-2 overall and 2-0 in the Northeast-10 Northeast division while Bentley falls to 4-9 overall and 1-3 in the divisional standings.
Senior pitcher Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine) improved to 6-0 in the pitching circle this season by throwing a one-hit, no-walk, 11-strikeout gem to start the day. Her lone hit-against came to the leadoff batter in the fifth inning as Catie Noons sent one through the left side to break up the perfect game bid.
Senior hurler Paige Cormier (Rochester, N.H.) picked up a win in the nightcap Saturday, improving to 3-1 on the year. In nine innings of work, she struck out four Falcons and issued just two walks.
Junior Pattie Turner (Warwick, R.I.) had the hot bat in the first game for Saint Anselm, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Turner's triple to centerfield sparked a two-run first inning for the Hawks, who never relinquished the lead in the series opener.
Junior Julie LeClair (Taunton, Mass.) also had quite the day at the plate, going 4-for-7 in the afternoon twinbill and racking up three RBI and two runs scored. Senior Hannah Byrne (Lynn, Mass.) also put together a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-7 and recording three RBI and a run scored.
The Hawks' second matchup was quite the nail biter, as Saint Anselm got some clutch hits from the meat of its lineup when it needed them most. Tied 1-1 after seven quick innings of work, freshman Amanda Bickford (Salem, N.H.) led things off with a single and LeClair was issued a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. After a pitching change, Byrne belted one to left center to score both Bickford and LeClair and retake the lead. Yet, chasing two runs, Bentley partnered back-to-back hits before roping a triple of its own to deep center, tying the game at 3-3 after eight innings.
Junior Emily Crannell (Wilmington, Mass.), who went 2-for-3 in the second game alone, doubled to left and Bickford tacked on another single to short to put two on with two outs. LeClair's fourth homerun of the season couldn't have come at a better time as her poke to left sailed over the fence and gave the Hawks their last lead of the day.
A leadoff walk and a reached-on-error put two Bentley runners on with no outs, but Cormier responded with a strikeout and two pop-ups to seal a big win.
As hard as it may be to believe, Saint Anselm will finally see a home series being played on home turf, as the Hawks welcome heated Queen City Cup rival and No. 18-ranked Southern New Hampshire to the South Athletic Fields for a noon and 2 p.m. double-header Sunday.