MANCHESTER, N.H. – Senior Amanda Bickford became the Saint Anselm College softball program's all-time leader in career hits as the Hawks claimed a pair of victories over Franklin Pierce University on Wednesday at South Athletic Fields.
Saint Anselm (17-7-1, 4-1-1 NE10) rallied in its final at-bat to claim the opener, 3-2, before scoring the final five runs of game two during a 6-2 victory over Franklin Pierce (3-9, 0-2 NE10). In her second at-bat of the day, Bickford dropped a single into left field for the 186th hit of her career, breaking a tie with Nicole Boucher '14 atop Saint Anselm's all-time hit list.
Saint Anselm 3, Franklin Pierce 2 | Box
In the opener, Saint Anselm scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to claim a walk-off victory, 3-2. Sophomore Madison Borrelli dropped down the game-winning squeeze bunt to score classmate Shannon Colson from third with one out in the home half of the seventh.
The Ravens edged out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-out RBI single by Dominique Bisaccia that scored Bre Eastlick, who doubled to start the game. After the Hawks left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, Franklin Pierce plated an unearned run in the second to double its lead.
Saint Anselm got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third when Megan Murrell came around to score on an error following a Colson bunt. Murrell had doubled to left center to start the inning. Franklin Pierce starter Cyrena Zemaitis stranded 11 runners of the first four innings to keep the Ravens ahead.
It took until the seventh for the Hawks to snatch the lead away from the Ravens. Saint Anselm got the tying and winning runs into scoring position with nobody out after a Murrell walk and a bunt by Colson followed by a throwing error. Jordan O'Connor lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Murrell and tie the game at 2-2. Colson, who moved to third on the fly ball, scampered home on Borrelli's squeeze bunt to give the Hawks the walk-off win.
Zemaitis struck out 10 and walked eight over 6.1 innings of work for Franklin Pierce, allowing three runs (zero earned) on four hits to suffer the loss. Morgan Perry posted her third double-digit strikeout performance of the season, fanning 10 over her seven innings to improve to 9-2 on the season.
Saint Anselm 6, Franklin Pierce 2 | Box
Eight of Saint Anselm's nine position players tallied at least one hit in game two as the Hawks overcame a 2-1 deficit by scoring the final five runs of the game. Murrell and Erin Thompson each dove in a pair of runs, with Murrell going 2-for-4 with two RBI to reach base safely in six-of-eight at-bats on the day.
Courtney Fisher picked up her seventh victory of the season, limiting Franklin Pierce to five hits and two runs in a complete-game effort with five strikeouts and one walk.
In the bottom of the first, Saint Anselm jumped out to a 1-0 when Murrell singled in Thompson with two outs. Aubrey Bianco tied the game at 1-1 with a one-out solo home run to center in the next half inning before Jaclyn Cortese put the vistors on top, 2-1, with a two-out RBI single up the middle in the fourth.
The Hawks responded with two in the bottom of the inning thanks to a two-out, two-run single by Thompson. Having left the bases loaded four times on the afternoon, Thompson made sure it did not happen a fifth time, singling up the middle to put Saint Anselm on top for good.
Colson's speed created an insurance run in the fifth after her leadoff single. She moved to second on a wild pitch and stole third before scoring on a groundout by Michaela Kane. The Hawks tacked on two more in the sixth, scoring on a throwing error by the Ravens and a groundout by Murrell to give Fisher more breathing room in the circle.
The two teams complete their three-game series on Thursday, Mar. 29 with a 3 p.m. start at South Athletic Fields.