Softball splits at No. 23 SNHU behind Perry's second-straight shutout

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Reigning Northeast-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week Morgan Perry threw her second-straight shutout in a 5-0 victory in game one before No. 23-ranked Southern New Hampshire University edged the Saint Anselm College softball team, 2-1, in game two of a doubleheader split on Monday at SNHU Softball Field.

Perry limited Southern New Hampshire (25-7, 8-4 NE10) to just three hits with two walks and six strikeouts for Saint Anselm (23-9-1, 10-3-1 NE10) in the opener. In game two, Sarah Lavallee outdueled Courtney Fisher to help the Penmen gain the split. The two teams play the rubber game of the series on Tuesday, Apr. 10 at 4 p.m. at Saint Anselm.

The game-one win was the second victory against a ranked opponent this season for the Hawks, who defeated No. 16 West Chester to start the season on Feb. 16 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It was also the first victory for Saint Anselm at SNHU since Apr. 8, 2009, snapping the Penmen's 13-game home winning streak in the series.

Saint Anselm 5, No. 23 Southern N.H. 0 | Box

Perry threw her fourth shutout of the season in the opener to improve to 13-3 this season. She was backed by a 12-hit effort against Maddy Barone who, like Perry, entered the game ranked in the NE10's top-five in wins, strikeouts and ERA. Sophomore Maggie Murphy was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, senior Amanda Bickford was 3-for-4 with one RBI and sophomore Erin Thompson went 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI to lead the Hawks offensively.

The Hawks got to Barone to open the scoring in the top of the third, starting the frame with back-to-back doubles to left by Thompson and Murrell. After facing the minimum of 21 batters against AIC on Sunday, Perry retired the first 12 Penmen batters until a leadoff infield single by Erin Garczynski in the fifth.

Still leading 2-0, Saint Anselm gave Perry more run support in the sixth, scoring twice to extend its lead to 4-0. With runners on the corners and one out, Bickford singled through the left side to score Murphy, who doubled to start the inning. After an error filled the bases with one out, Thompson did her job, lifting a sacrifice fly to left.

The Hawks tacked on another run in the seventh as senior Shannon McLaughlin delivered a two-out RBI single to right to drive in Murphy. The Penmen drew back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the seventh and loaded the bases with one out on a single by Jackie Gavin, but Perry finished off her shutout by inducing a liner to third and a grounder to third.

No. 23 Southern N.H. 2, Saint Anselm 1 | Box

Southern New Hampshire scratched across single runs in the second and third of game two and Lavallee escaped a pair of late-inning jams to help the Penmen earn a split. Three SNHU batters had two hits apiece in the night cap, while McLaughlin was the lone Saint Anselm hitter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3.

Fisher yielded two runs on nine hits in a six-inning, complete-game effort, matching her career high with six strikeouts while not walking a batter. Lavallee scattered five hits over seven innings for the Penmen, walking two and matching Fisher with six strikeouts.

Southern New Hampshire scored the game's first run in the home half of the second. The Penmen filled the bases with one out with three singles, two that did not leave the infield, and scored on a wild pitch. Fisher kept the damage to one with a strikeout and a ground out to leave two runners in scoring position.

Singles by Jordan Wade and Shay Sauvageau on either side of a sacrifice bunt left runners at the corners and one out for the Penmen in the third. The hosts plated the eventual game-winning run on an error on a bunt by Garczynski before Fisher again left runners at second and third with a pair of strikeouts.

Saint Anselm got on the board in the next half inning, as Thompson singled to left and came around to score on Murrell's RBI triple down the right-field line. The three-bagger was the second of the season for Murrell after she did not have any through her first three seasons. Lavallee stranded Murrell, the tying run, at third thanks in part to two strikeouts in the inning.

Needing a run to keep the game going in the seventh, the Hawks loaded the bases with one out with the top of the order coming up. However, Lavallee again escaped trouble, getting Bickford to hit into a fielder's choice to short to cut down the tying run at home before shortstop Brittany Perdigao made a diving catch on a sinking Shannon Colson liner to end the game.

Notes

  • Starting with one out in the top of the second on Sunday through the fourth inning on Monday, Perry retired 28-straight batters for 29 outs.
  • With one RBI in each game, Murrell became the fifth student-athlete in program history to drive in 90 runs in her career. The senior also hit her 37th-career double in game one, tying her for second all-time at Saint Anselm in the category.
  • Although she saw her hitting streak snapped at 19 games in game two, Bickford's three hits in the opener gave her 52 for the season – the eighth-highest total in a single-season at Saint Anselm.
  • Borrelli has reached base safely in 23 consecutive games, while Thompson has done so in 21-straight contests. Thompson has scored a run in nine-straight games and ranks ninth in single-season annals with 31 runs this season.