LEESBURG, Fla. – The Saint Anselm College softball team completed a 9-5 trip to Florida and extended its winning streak to four games by defeating Tiffin University, 7-4 in eight innings, and Ursuline College, 12-5, on Saturday at Sleepy Hollow Recreation Complex.
With four hits on the day, senior Amanda Bickford moved into second place in program history with 179 career hits. Bickford is six hits behind Nicole Boucher's record total of 185 from 2011-14. Madison Borrelli hit her first-career home run to help Saint Anselm (13-6) outlast Tiffin (6-10) in the opener and Erin Thompson tallied a career-high four hits in the win over Ursuline (2-9).
Saint Anselm 7, Tiffin 4 (8 inn.) | Box
Borrelli delivered a three-run home run in a four-run top of the eighth to propel Saint Anselm past Tiffin in the opening game of the day. Courtney Fisher threw all eight innings for the Hawks to earn her fifth win, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Fisher pitched out of a jam in the top of the first, keeping the Dragons off the board after Tiffin had runners on second and third and nobody out. After a strikeout, Jordan O'Connor threw out a runner at the plate for the second out to help the Hawks escape unscathed.
Saint Anselm broke the deadlock with three runs in a top of the fourth that included three stolen bases. With runners on second and third and one out, Thompson singled to shortstop to score the first run. Later in the inning, a run scored following a throwing error by the Dragons and O'Connor drove a single through the left side to score another run.
Tiffin rallied with three runs off Fisher in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. The Dragons scored one run on an error after starting the inning with back-to-back singles and Gabrielle Hess knotted the score with a two-run single to center two batters later.
With the international tiebreaker in effect, Maggie Murphy bunted Michaela Kane to third to start the top of the eighth and Megan Murrell followed with a single to score Kane. Already leading 4-3, Borrelli extended the Saint Anselm lead with a three-run shot to center with Murrell and Thompson aboard. Hess drove in her third run of the game in the bottom of the inning before Fisher retired the final batter.
Saint Anselm 12, Ursuline 5 | Box
Saint Anselm pounded 16 hits and stole a program-record eight bases while scoring the game's final eight runs to defeat Ursuline for the second time on the trip. Bickford, Kane and Thompson combined for half of the Hawks' 16 hits in the victory.
Bickford was 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI, Kane went 3-for-5 with three runs and one RBI and Thompson was 4-for-5 with a pair of runs. Six different Hawks stole a base, led by two each from Murphy and Shannon Colson. Abbie Murrell earned her first-career victory with four innings of four-hit, no-run work in relief.
The Hawks stole six bases in the first inning alone, scoring three runs on just two hits. Bickford and Kane both singled and stole bases to start the inning, leaving runners on second and third with nobody out. Bickford scored on a passed ball before Kane scored on a wild pitch and another run scored on an error later in the inning. Gina Rosshirt doubled in two runs in the bottom of the inning for Ursuline to make it a 3-2 game after one.
Colson plated Kane with a one-out RBI single to center in the third to stretch the Saint Anselm lead to 4-2, but the Arrows capitalized on three errors in the bottom of the fourth to score three runs and go ahead 5-4. With a runner on third and nobody out, Abbie Murrell entered the game and got the Hawks out of the inning down just a run.
Saint Anselm scored six runs on five hits and two Ursuline errors in the decisive top of the fifth inning to take the lead for good at 10-5. Shannon McLaughlin, Bickford and Kane produced RBI singles in the inning before Megan Murrell sent a three-run home run to center for her third home run of the season. It was the 13th home run of the senior's career, tying her for seventh in program history with Kayla McEachern (2008-11).
Bickford drove in the game's final two runs with a two-out, two-run single to center in the sixth. The three RBI matched the senior's career high and gave her 12 for the season, a new career-best total for a single season.
Saint Anselm heads home for its Northeast-10 Conference and home opener against Franklin Pierce on Wednesday, March 21. The twin bill between the Hawks and Ravens will start at 3 p.m.