Softball rallies for 7-6 walk-off victory over Bentley

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Sophomore Erin Thompson provided a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh as the Saint Anselm College softball team came from 6-2 down to top Bentley University, 7-6, on Friday afternoon at South Athletic Fields.

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Saint Anselm (29-9-1, 16-3-1 NE10) led 2-0 in the first before Bentley (11-25, 8-15 NE10) took a 6-2 lead behind a six-run top of the fourth. The Hawks hit right back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, three on a pinch-hit double by Lauren Washburn, and snatched the victory on Thompson's walk-off single with one out in the seventh.

The victory was Saint Anselm's 11th in its last 12 games and its 16th in its last 18. The Hawks have won 20 of the last 23 head-to-head matchups with the Falcons since Apr. 3, 2010. Saint Anselm's 29 wins this season are its most since the 1999 team went 32-12.

Saint Anselm recorded 12 hits in the game, compared to six for Bentley, led by Thompson's 3-for-4 day at the plate. Shannon Colson went 2-for-4 with a run, three RBI and her NE10-best 25th stolen base of the season, while Amanda Bickford scored three times. Maggie Murphy reached base three times, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a run, as did Jordan O'Connor, who was 2-for-4 with a walk and a run of her own.

Courtney Fisher picked up her 11th victory of the season, allowing just an unearned run on one hit over 3.1 innings of relief. The freshman walked one and struck out four after taking over for Morgan Perry, who worked the first 3.2 innings.

Saint Anselm struck for two runs on the first when Colson knocked in a pair with a two-out single up the middle. Perry and Bentley starter Lauren Calabrese put zeroes on the board until the fourth when the teams combined for 10 runs.

Bentley had five of its six hits in the game in the six-run top of the fourth. Noa Rivera had the big hit of the inning, hitting a three-run home run to left to put the Falcons on the board with a 3-2 lead. Stacey Korotsky provided a two-out, two-run single to right center to cap the inning after coming up with the bases loaded.

The Hawks came right back with four runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to tie it up at 6-6. Three singles loaded the bases for Colson with one out and the sophomore singled off the glove of the pitcher to plate the first run of the inning. Two batters later, Washburn pinch hit with the bases loaded and two outs and sent a bases-clearing double over the left fielder's head to tie the game.

Fisher retired the final 10 Falcons of the afternoon to give her team the chance to claim the walk-off victory in the seventh. Pinch hitter Maddison Leite started the frame with a walk before being retired on a fielder's choice. Murphy doubled to the left-field corner with one out, leaving runners at second and third for Thompson, who bounced a single up the middle for Saint Anselm's second walk-off victory in three days.

Korotsky was the lone Bentley batter with multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI. Calabrese took a no decision after throwing the first four innings, with Kayleigh Fitzpatrick taking the loss after working the final 2.1 innings.

The same two teams play a doubleheader on Saturday, Apr. 21 on Senior Day for the Hawks. First pitch is scheduled for noon.