No. 12 softball toppled by Jefferson, Wilmington (Del.)

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Saint Anselm College softball team posted back-to-back losses on Friday, falling to Jefferson and Wilmington (Del.) in non-league action.

The Hawks, who are ranked 12th in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 poll, fall to 10-6 on the year. Jefferson moves to 2-1 overall while Wilmington sees its overall mark stand at 7-4 after the result.

In game one, the Hawks were holding onto a slim one-run lead heading into the fifth inning.  In the top of the fifth, Jefferson scored twice to take the lead and held off strong comeback attempts by the Hawks in the fifth and seventh innings for the win.

Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) had a strong outing in the first game, recording the game's first six outs via strikeout. Perry finished with 11 "K's" and junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) extended her hitting streak to nine games against the Rams, which is the longest of her career.

In the second game against the Wildcats, the Hawks had only four hits and committed two miscues on defense. Sophomore Maddison Leite (Cumberland, R.I.) had two of her team's hits, homering for her team's lone run of the contest.

Jefferson 2, No. 12 Saint Anselm 1 | Box Score

The Hawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Colson singled to center before moving over on a sacrifice bunt. She came around on a RBI single by senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.).

Perry ran into some trouble in the second when the bases were loaded with no outs. She went on to strikeout the next three batters to keep Saint Anselm ahead, 1-0.

After Perry struck out the first two batters of the fifth inning, the Rams recorded three hits, including a go-ahead RBI double by Madison Heno to place Jefferson ahead, 2-1, in the top of the fifth inning.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Hawks had two runners on with one out, but Naomi Stas induced back-to-back fielder's choice groundouts to end the contest and earn the win in the circle.

Wilmington (Del.) 4, No. 12 Saint Anselm 1 | Box Score

Wilmington went ahead by a 1-0 margin shortly into the game as a leadoff single was driven in by Lopez with a two-out single down the left field line.

Leite hit a solo shot to center in the top of the fourth, tying the game at one, but in the bottom of the fifth, three hits and a Hawks error led to three runs.

Wilmington pitchers retired the final 10 batters for Saint Anselm in order, securing the three-run victory. Caitlyn Whiteside earned the win in the circle for the Wildcats, striking out three.

Freshman McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) struck out five across four-and-a-third innings before making way to sophomore Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.). She struck out one batter in one-and-two-thirds innings of relief work.

Saint Anselm wraps up its Florida trip on Saturday, Mar. 9 with two games. The first is against Mercy (N.Y.) at 9 a.m. followed by a 1:30 p.m. game against Ferris State.