MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Saint Anselm College softball team picked up a pair of victories on Saturday, using a 12-hit attack to defeat Concord University, 4-2, and a two-hit shutout from sophomore Morgan Perry to blank West Virginia State University, 5-0, at Ned Donkle Complex.
In game one, five different hitters tallied two hits apiece, including senior Megan Murrell, who drove in three runs, to lead Saint Anselm (3-1) past Concord (0-2). Perry fanned 12 over a two-hit shutout in the win over West Virginia State (4-4) later in the day. The Hawks had never faced the Mountain Lions, who have won 30-plus games in each of the last four seasons, or the Yellow Jackets prior to Saturday.
Saint Anselm 4, Concord 2 | Box Score
Saint Anselm pounded a season-high 12 hits in the opener, as Erin Thompson, Jordan O'Connor, Shannon Colson and Lauren Washburn joined Murrell with two-hit games. Murrell also walked once to reach base three times, while Thompson scored a pair of runs and knocked in another.
Freshmen Abbie Murrell and Courtney Fisher combined to go the distance in the circle for the Hawks. Fisher earned the win with four no-hit innings of relief after Murrell worked the first three frames. Rachel Pritchard threw a complete game for Concord, yielding four runs on 12 hits.
The Hawks jumped on Pritchard right away in the top of the first. With one out, Thompson and O'Connor reached base on an infield single and a fielder's choice before Murrell plated Thompson with a double to right. O'Connor was gunned down at home on the play while trying to add another run.
Saint Anselm did add three more runs in the second, stringing together five-straight hits after the first two batters were retired. Maggie Murphy and Amanda Bickford started the two-out rally with singles and Thompson followed with a RBI infield single to short. After an O'Connor single filled the bases, Megan Murrell drove in two with a double to center to make it 4-0.
Concord halved its deficit in the home half of the second on a two-run home run to right off the bat of Alycea Watson, but that marked the end of the scoring. Abbie Murrell and Fisher combined to retire nine batters in a row in the middle innings, with Fisher setting down the first eight batters she faced after coming on in to start the fourth.
Saint Anselm 5, West Virginia St. 0 | Box Score
In game two, Perry threw the fourth shutout of her young career, with her 12 strikeouts establishing a new career-high total for the sophomore. Perry retired the first 17 batters she faced before Micca Mirabella's two-out infield single in the sixth.
Senior Shannon McLaughlin led the way offensively for the Hawks, hitting a two-run home run, her team's first of the season. McLaughlin was 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBI in victory. Thompson, O'Connor and Megan Murrell each had a hit and an RBI.
McLaughlin's home run opened the scoring in the bottom of the second with two outs. Washburn came around to score on the long ball after doubling with one away.
Saint Anselm tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth. McLaughlin and Murphy started the inning with singles and moved into scoring position on a ground out by Bickford. After Thompson drove in McLaughlin on a fielder's choice and stole second, O'Connor plated Murphy with a grounder to short and Megan Murrell followed with a RBI single to center.
West Virginia State ended Perry's no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth on Mirabella's single to short. Mirabella then moved into scoring position by stealing second, the lone Yellow Jacket to reach second in the game, but a ground out ended the inning. Zoey Carte singled to start the seventh but did not advance any further as Perry struck out two in each of the final three innings.
Saint Anselm finishes its showing at the 2018 Snowbird Freeze Out against Georgian Court on Sunday, Feb 18 at 10 a.m.