Murphy's walk-off double in opener highlights softball's sweep of Saint Michael's

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sophomore Maggie Murphy hit a walk-off two-run double in game one as the Saint Anselm College softball team swept Saint Michael's College by scores of 5-4 (8 inn.) and 4-0 on Wednesday afternoon at South Athletic Fields.

After coming to bat with the bases loaded and one out with her team down 4-3, Murphy delivered the game-winning double to deep center to give Saint Anselm (28-9-1, 15-3-1 NE10) the walk-off win. Freshman Courtney Fisher held Saint Michael's (6-19, 3-12 NE10) to just three hits for her second collegiate shutout in game two.

With two hits in both games, senior Amanda Bickford set a new program record for hits in a season (60), surpassing Lisa Petell's total of 59 from her senior season of 1999. Earlier this season, Bickford became Saint Anselm's all-time leader in career hits as her career total now sits at 209.

With the two wins, the Hawks have won 10 of their last 11 games and 15 of their last 17. Saint Anselm received two votes in this week's National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 and was ranked second in the East Region in the first set of regional rankings released by the NCAA.

Saint Anselm 5, Saint Michael's 4 (8 inn.) | Box

Torie Rathwell twice put the Purple Knights ahead in the opener as part of a three-RBI day, but Saint Anselm snatched the victory on Murphy's walk-off double. Murphy was one of four Hawks with multiple hits in the game-one win, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBI.

Shannon Colson went 2-for-3 with a single, triple and two runs scored, Erin Thompson was 2-for-4 with one run batted in and Bickford reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.

Two-time reigning Northeast-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week Morgan Perry saw her streak of 30.1 scoreless innings snapped in the fourth inning but still earned the win to improve to 16-3 this season. The sophomore threw all eight innings, striking out nine while allowing four runs on seven hits.

Colson led off the bottom of the second inning with a triple to right center and scored on a single by Jordan O'Connor, the next batter. Perry retired the first 10 batters of the game, five via strikeout, before the Purple Knights took the lead in the fourth. Two batters after Chandler Wilder singled to the catcher, Rathwell hit a two-run home run to left center to give the visitors a 2-1 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Colson singled to center and stole second and third, leaving her 60 feet away with nobody out. Colson was still at third with two outs before stealing home on a throw from the catcher back to the pitcher to tie the game at 2-2.

Markowski hit Saint Michael's second home run of the game with nobody on and one out in the fifth to give the visitors the lead back. Saint Anselm sent the game to extra innings with a run in the bottom of the seventh when Thompson laced a single through the right side to score Bickford, who singled to start the inning and moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Murphy.

The Purple Knights took their third one-run lead of the game in the top of the eighth on Rathwell's third RBI of the game. Rathwell followed two-out singles by Wilder and Fallon Tierney with one of her own to right but the run was not enough after Murphy's double won it in the bottom of the frame.

Saint Anselm 4, Saint Michael's 0 | Box

Fisher allowed just three hits and did not walk a batter in the nightcap, striking out four in her 10th victory of the season. The Hawks scored twice in the third and added single runs in the fourth and fifth on their way to the shutout win.

Bickford and Murphy each had two hits in the first two spots in the lineup, with Bickford scoring twice and Murphy driving in another run. Thompson, Colson and O'Connor all had one hit and one RBI, while Michaela Kane went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

After allowing a leadoff single to start the game, Fisher did not surrender another hit until the fifth. The Hawks got to Rathwell in the third, stringing together three-straight singles on their way to a pair of runs. Kane and Bickford singled with one out before Murphy drove a single up the middle to score Kane and break the deadlock. After a wild pitch, Thompson lifted a sacrifice fly to center for the game's second run.

Colson led off the bottom of the fourth with an infield single before stealing her fourth base of the day to move into scoring position. O'Connor knocked in Colson with a double to right center to put a third run on the board. A Colson sacrifice fly provided the game's final run in the fifth after she came to bat with the bases loaded and one out.

Rathwell threw all six innings for the Purple Knights, giving up four runs on nine hits with one strikeout and no walks. Hayley Craddock, Wilder and Aleksandra Apkarian had one hit apiece offensively.

Saint Anselm hosts Bentley University for a single game on Friday, Apr. 20 at 4 p.m. before playing a Senior Day doubleheader against the Falcons the next day, starting at noon.