Softball comes from behind to top Ferris State and Ashland

CLERMONT, Fla. – The Saint Anselm College softball team put together its second two-win day of its trip to Florida by posting come-from-behind victories over Ferris State University and Ashland University on Thursday at THE Spring Games at Legends Way Ballfields.

Saint Anselm (11-6) used a four-run fifth inning to overcome a 1-0 deficit in the opener against Ferris State (3-8) in a 4-1 victory. Later in the day, the Hawks came from 4-1 down against Ashland (5-6) to claim an 8-6 victory to move to 7-5 through 12 games in the Sunshine State.

Saint Anselm 4, Ferris State 1 | Box

After allowing a first-inning run, freshman Courtney Fisher kept the Bulldogs scoreless over the final six innings and the Saint Anselm offense broke through in the fifth to give the Hawks their fourth win in five meetings between the two programs. Fisher leveled her record at 4-4 by holding Ferris State to five hits over a complete game with just one walk.

Amanda Bickford and Maggie Murphy combined for six of Saint Anselm's nine hits. Murphy reached base all four times, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a run and an RBI, while Bickford was 3-for-4. Jordan O'Connor drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth and Shannon Colson added a two-run single to cap the rally.

Saint Anselm left two runners in scoring position in the top of the first before Ferris State took advantage of a leadoff triple by Emily Smith to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the inning. Smith scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Emily Reed after Fisher got the first out via her lone strikeout of the game.

The Hawks started the third with three-straight singles, but Madison Borrelli was thrown out at the plate on the third hit in a row. Saint Anselm also left two runners in scoring position in the third after Megan Murrell hit a bullet right caught by a retreating Paige Kortz in center with runners on second and third and two outs.

In the fifth, the Hawks finally got to Sam Bates, taking advantage of a pair of errors to score four unearned runs. Following back-to-back Bulldog errors, Murphy drove a single through the right side to score Borrelli and tie the game at 1-1. Three batters later with the bases loaded and one out, O'Connor delivered an RBI single to right to put the Hawks ahead, 2-1, and Colson followed with a two-run single up the middle to chase Bates.

Fisher allowed just one hit over the final three innings, retiring 10 of the final 12 batters. Bates took the loss to fall to 2-4, although all four runs she gave up were unearned. Hannah Leppek pitched 2.1 innings of two-hit relief with a pair of strikeouts for the Bulldogs.

Saint Anselm 8, Ashland 6 | Box

Saint Anselm trailed 4-1 after three and a half innings before putting seven-straight runs on the board to go ahead 8-4 headed to the seventh. Ashland closed to within two, 8-6, with two in its final at bat, but Abbie Murrell got Camille Pollutro, the tying run, to fly out to deep right-center field to end the game to lock down her first collegiate save.

Four hitters had two hits apiece for Saint Anselm. Bickford went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI, including the go-ahead two-run single in a four-run fourth. Megan Murrell was 2-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run, her second of the season, while Colson and Erin Thompson were each 2-for-4 with a pair of runs. Thompson also drove in a run.

Morgan Perry won her fourth-straight start and improved to 7-1 on the season by allowing just two earned runs (six runs) in six-plus innings with no walks and four strikeouts. Perry's seven wins are tied for the most in the Northeast-10 Conference, while her 1.08 ERA is second in the conference.

After the Hawks scored an unearned run on a dropped fly ball in the first, Ashland tied it in the second on a two-out RBI single by Halle Dorko. Pollutro tripled in two runs in the third and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Cassie Haight in the fourth gave the Eagles a 4-1 advantage.

Megan Murrell started the Saint Anselm rally in the fourth with a solo home run to right. Two batters later, Thompson tripled in Colson, who had singled and stole second. After a pair of walks loaded the bases with one out, Bickford pounded a two-run single down the left-field line to give the Hawks a 5-4 lead.

Saint Anselm added two runs to its lead in the fifth and another in the sixth. With one out in the fifth, Shannon McLaughlin drew a bases-loaded walk and O'Connor lofted a sacrifice fly to center. In the sixth, Colson reached on a two-out error, allowing Michaela Kane to score.

Down four, Ashland mounted a rally in its final at bat. An error and a double left runners at second and third with no outs, signaling the end of the day for Perry. The Eagles scored runs on a ground out and a wild pitch, leaving a runner on second with two outs and Pollutro, who had four home runs through 10 games, at the plate as the tying run. However, Abbie Murrell got Pollutro to fly out to Colson in deep right center to end the game.

Following an off day, the Hawks close out their 14-game Florida slate on Saturday, March 10, facing Tiffin at 9 a.m. and Ursuline at 1:30 p.m.