KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College softball team picked up a pair of 3-0 victories on Tuesday afternoon, defeating Georgian Court and No. 25 Gannon.
The Hawks, ranked first in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 poll, move to 9-3 on the year. The Lions fall to 8-3 on the year while the Golden Knights, who are ranked 25th in the latest NFCA poll, are now 2-4.
Against the Lions, it was a three-run fourth inning for Saint Anselm that was the difference in the game, thanks to the first career home runs by sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) and freshman Bailey Cain (Wellington, Fla.). Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) dominated in the circle, allowing just one hit in a complete game effort for her fourth win of the season. For Perry, it is also her 35th win of her career on the Hilltop, which puts her sixth all-time in program history.
In game two against the Golden Knights, the Hawks were no-hit through two innings of play. However, a two-run third broke up the scoreless game. Junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) drove in the eventual game-winning run with a two-out single. She finished the day with three hits and reached the 100-hit milestone across 101 games played in her career at Saint Anselm.
No. 1 Saint Anselm 3, Georgian Court 0 | Box Score
After the game went scoreless through the first three innings, which included just one hit given up by Perry during that span, the Hawks scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning to take the lead.
After a leadoff walk to senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) started the inning, Washburn sent a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence to give Saint Anselm a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Cain made it 3-0 in favor of the Hawks with a solo shot to left field.
Perry cruised the rest of the way, issuing just one walk for the entire game and finishing with seven strikeouts. Mikayla Gilgert suffered the loss for the Lions, allowing three runs on seven hits over five innings. She walked one and struck out two.
No. 1 Saint Anselm 3, No. 25 Gannon 0 | Box Score
The Hawks finally struck for two runs in the third inning after not getting a hit until a one-out double by junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine). She moved to third on a groundout before Colson drove her in on a two-out single to left center. After Colson stole second and junior Erin Thompson (Newton, N.H.) walked, O'Connor singled up the middle to drive in Colson from second to make it 2-0 in favor of Saint Anselm.
Saint Anselm added a run in the fourth inning. Cain started the inning with an infield single and later scored on a one-out double by junior pinch hitter Kaleigh Scoville (Scarborough, Maine), extending the Hawks lead to 3-0.
Hawks starting pitcher Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.) picked up her fourth win of the year with five innings of work. She allowed zero runs or walks, striking out four batters. Freshman McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) earned her first collegiate save in two innings of relief, striking out five of the six batters she faced. Maddie Beining suffered the complete game loss for the Golden Knights, allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. She also had a pair of strikeouts.
Saint Anselm plays two more contests on Wednesday, Mar. 6 in Clermont, Fla. The first game is against Cedarville at 1:30 p.m. The second game is a rematch of the 2018 NCAA Division II Championship series against the University of Southern Indiana at 3:45 p.m. The Screaming Eagles are receiving votes in the NFCA poll.