No. 24 softball wraps up regular season with sweep of Skyhawks

No. 24 softball wraps up regular season with sweep of Skyhawks

EASTON, Mass. – The No. 24-ranked Saint Anselm College softball team recorded 25 hits on the day and ran its winning streak to 13 games by sweeping Stonehill College by scores of 8-1 and 8-0 to close out the regular season on Saturday afternoon at Fr. Gartland Field.

With the two victories, Saint Anselm (36-9-1, 23-3-1 NE10) extended its program-record winning streak to 13 games – the Hawks have not lost since a 2-1 defeat to then-No. 23 Southern New Hampshire on Apr. 11. The Hawks had 16 hits in the opener against Stonehill (8-31, 7-22 NE10) and got a two-hit shutout from sophomore Morgan Perry in game two.

Senior Megan Murrell became the program's all-time leader in career RBI with the 97th of her career in game one and added a three-run home run in game two to give her an even 100 for her career. Murrell's 45 RBI this season lead the NE10, while her eight home runs are tied for fourth in the conference.

No. 24 Saint Anselm 8, Stonehill 1 | Box

Eight of Saint Anselm's nine starters had at least one hit in game one and five had at least two as the Hawks put 16 hits on the board. Senior Amanda Bickford and sophomores Erin Thompson and Shannon Colson each had three hits and scored twice, while Thompson and Colson also knocked in a run apiece. Thompson also stole four bases, tying the program record last accomplished by Nicole Boucher on Apr. 5, 2015.

Reigning NE10 Pitcher of the Week Courtney Fisher allowed an unearned run in the top of the first but nothing after that in a complete game to move to 14-5 on the season. The freshman gave up six hits and one walk with three strikeouts in the win.

After Saint Anselm left the bases loaded in the first, Stonehill got on the board first in the bottom of the inning. The Skyhawks used two singles and an error to load the bases before Michelle Theilgard lofted a sacrifice fly to left, but Fisher held the hosts to one run by retiring the final two batters.

The Hawks took the lead in the top of the third, scoring a pair of runs to start a run of scoring in four-straight innings. With runners on first and second and two outs, Colson tied the game with a RBI single to left and Jordan O'Connor followed with a RBI single of her own to right to put Saint Anselm on top, 2-1.

Saint Anselm tacked on an unearned run in the fourth and another in the fifth on O'Connor's second run-scoring single of the game. O'Connor's hit scored Colson from second after she singled and swiped second as part of a three-stolen base day.

In the sixth, the Hawks went on to add four more with a five-hit inning. Bickford and Maggie Murphy started the inning with infield singles and moved up on a wild pitch. Thompson then singled up the middle to score Bickford before a double steal brought in Murphy. Murrell drove in her record-setting 97th run with a ground out and Maddison Leite provided the final run with a two-out RBI single for one of her four hits on the day.

No. 24 Saint Anselm 8, Stonehill 0 (6 inn.) | Box

Murrell's eighth home run of the season, a three-run shot, highlighted a four-run first inning in game two and Perry threw her seventh shutout of the season, limiting Stonehill to just two hits. The sophomore struck out six batters with just one walk to improve to 19-3 – her 19 wins are one shy of Lisa Petell's program record of 20 set in 1999.

The Hawks jumped on Stonehill starter Kazi Walker with four extra-base hits in their first inning at the plate. Back-to-back doubles from Murphy and Thompson on either side of outs left runners on second and third with two outs. With Colson up, a wild pitch brought in the opening run before Colson drew a walk and Murrell lofted a three-run shot to right center for the big hit of the inning.

The lone run of innings two through five was an unearned run for the Hawks in the fifth. After the first two batters were retired, Leite singled and scored on a throwing error on a single by Shannon McLaughlin. Hannah Ricker's one-out infield single in the bottom of the third was the final hit the Skyhawks would get off Perry.

The score stayed 5-0 in favor of Saint Anselm until a three-run top of the sixth led to the run-rule victory. With one out, freshman Maggie Farrell drew a walk and scored on a Bickford double to left center. Two batters later with runners on second and third and one out, both Murphy and Bickford scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Thompson due to a misplay in the outfield.

In her fourth three-hit game of the season, Murphy went 3-for-4 with two runs scored to run her hitting streak to a team-high 11 games. With one stolen base in game one and two more in game two, Colson has 30 stolen bases this season, leaving her one short of the program record held by Nicole Boucher from her senior season of 2014.