MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sam Hennequin tossed a four-hit shutout and Maggie Murphy drove in three runs as the Saint Anselm College softball team blanked Saint Michael's 5-0 in Northeast Divisional play in the Northeast-10 Conference on Thursday afternoon at South Athletic Fields.
Hennequin's shutout was her second of the season against Saint Michael's (10-19, 9-10 NE10), as the senior fanned 14 in a one-hit shutout in an 8-0 Saint Anselm (14-14, 12-7 NE10) road victory on April 18. The right-hander allowed just four hits and one walk over the complete-game shutout with four strikeouts and has allowed just seven earned runs over her last six starts dating back to the one-hit gem in Colchester, Vt.
Four hitters had two hits apiece for the Hawks, led by Murphy, who was 2-for-3 with a run and a career-high three RBI. Amanda Bickford was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Michaela Kane was 2-for-4 with a run and Shannon Colson was 2-for-3. Erin Thompson added a two-run single in the win.
Saint Michael's had four batters tally one base knock apiece. Danielle Barbato reached base twice for the Purple Knights, going 1-for-2 with a walk. Danielle Brown replaced starter Torie Rathwell in the first inning and allowed two runs on four hits in six innings with six strikeouts.
Saint Anselm jumped on Rathwell, who held the Hawks scoreless in game two of the doubleheader on April 18, right away in the first, as the first six batters all reached base. After infield singles by Bickford and Kane, Murphy started the scoring with a single up the middle. A Murphy stolen base and a walk to Megan Murrell loaded the bases for Thompson, who delivered a two-run single to left to make it 3-0.
Colson, the next batter, dropped down Saint Anselm's second bunt single of the first inning to prompt the pitching change for Saint Michael's. Brown came in and got a pair of strikeouts and a pop up to short to prevent further damage.
The Hawks maintained their three-run lead until the bottom of the fourth when Murphy's two-run double extended the advantage to 5-0. With Bickford on second and Jordan O'Connor on third with two outs, Murphy laced a double to the left-center field gap to plate both runners.
The best scoring chance Saint Michael's mustered against Hennequin came in the top of the second. After Barbato opened the frame with a double, she was erased on a runner's interference call on a one-out ground ball to short. Three of the Purple Knights' four hits in the game came with two outs.
Saint Anselm begins a three-game set with Stonehill with a single game on Friday, April 28 at 5 p.m. at South Athletic Fields. The Hawks are currently tied for second in the Northeast Division with Assumption, three games ahead of Southern New Hampshire.