KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College softball team concluded its spring break trip to Florida with a pair of victories on Saturday. The Hawks downed Mercy College by a 14-4 margin before finishing the day with a 1-0 shutout win against Ferris State University in game two.
The Hawks, who are ranked 12th in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 poll, improve to 12-6 on the year. The Mavericks drop to 8-5 while the Bulldogs slip to 4-5 on the season.
Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) became the sixth student-athlete in program history to record 300 career strikeouts in the second game of the day, finishing with 11 and improving to 5-5 on the year. Perry now has 306 strikeouts in 66 games at the Hilltop. The victory was also the 36th of her career, tying Courtney Marden '98 for fifth all-time in program history.
The 14-run total against the Mavericks was the most runs Saint Anselm had scored in a game since a 14-0 win at Saint Michael's on Apr. 17, 2016.
In game one, the Hawks trailed by a run after the first inning. Saint Anselm went on to put up a five-run second inning that was keyed by a two-out, two-run single by sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) to make it 5-1. Senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) and sophomore Kat Stackrow (Wynantskill, N.Y.) each drove in three runs for the Hawks.
Game two against the Bulldogs was a pitcher's duel between Perry and Ferris State starter Abby Highway. The difference was a two-out RBI single by O'Connor in the sixth inning, scoring the game's lone run.
No. 12 Saint Anselm 14, Mercy 4 | Box Score
After the Mavericks put up a run in the first inning, the Hawks responded with five runs in the second to take a 5-1 lead.
Sophomore Maddison Leite (Cumberland, R.I.) led off the inning with a walk before moving up a base on a sacrifice bunt. She scored on a one-out double by junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) to tie the game at one. Junior Erin Thompson (Newton, N.H.) was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second before a fielder's choice moved both runners up one base. O'Connor and Stackrow had back-to-back RBI singles to put Saint Anselm up 3-1 before Washburn drove in two more runs to make it 5-1.
Mercy added two runs in the bottom of the second as Hannah Mueller drove in two runs on a two-out single to cut the deficit two 5-3. However, Saint Anselm pushed its lead back to five runs with a three-run third inning.
After loading the bases with no outs, junior Kaleigh Scoville (Scarborough, Maine) drove in a run to make it 6-3 before Stackrow knocked in two more runs on a single to the left side.
Mercy tacked on a run in the fourth inning and then loaded the bases with no outs, chasing Hawks starter sophomore Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.) from the game. Freshman McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) came in relief and got three-straight strikeouts to end the threat with the tying run at the plate.
Neither team scored a run until Saint Anselm put up six more in the seventh, all with no outs. It started with Leite's team-leading fifth home run of the year along with a two-run double by O'Connor and concluded with a RBI single by sophomore Abbie Murrell (Scarborough, Maine) before the first out was recorded.
Smith earned her third career victory in the circle, pitching four full innings. She finished with seven strikeouts without allowing a hit and giving up three walks. Kaylee Stevens suffered the loss for the Mavericks, allowing eight runs on nine hits and three walks over three innings.
No. 12 Saint Anselm 1, Ferris State 0 | Box Score
It was a pitcher's duel between Perry and Highway through the first five innings. The only two baserunners allowed reached via the error for the Bulldogs. However, the Hawks finally got their first hit of the game in the top of the sixth inning.
Freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick (Danville, N.H.) reached on a leadoff single before freshman pinch runner Kate Irwin (Milford, Mass.) advanced on a sacrifice bunt by classmate Bailey Cain (Wellington, Fla.). Irwin came around to score on a RBI single by O'Connor to give Saint Anselm a 1-0 lead.
Ferris State had a one-out double in the bottom half of the sixth but the runner was stranded at second as Perry got a strikeout and a line out to end the inning. Perry closed out the game getting the two of the last three batters to swing at strike three before a pop up to second ended the game.
Highway suffered the tough loss in a complete game effort, allowing the one run on just two hits while fanning two batters.
Saint Anselm begins Northeast-10 Conference play with a twin bill against the Dolphins from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. on Saturday, Mar. 23. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 11 a.m.