Softball wins home opener against Saint Michael's, 6-3

Softball wins home opener against Saint Michael's, 6-3

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College softball team secured a 6-3 Northeast-10 Conference win over Saint Michael's College on Friday in the home opener at the South Athletic Fields.

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The Hawks improve to 13-6 overall and 1-0 against NE10 opponents while the Purple Knights fall to 1-10 overall and 0-1 in league play. Saint Anselm hosts a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 30 against Stonehill College with game one set to start at 12 p.m.

The big inning for the Hawks came in the second frame, keyed by a solo home run by junior Erin Thompson (Newton, N.H.) and a two-run blast by freshman Bailey Cain (Wellington, Fla.).

Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) collected her 37th career victory at the Hilltop, moving her ahead of Courtney Marden '98 and into sole possession of fifth all-time in program history. She went four and two-thirds innings, finishing with seven strikeouts. She allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk.

After a scoreless first inning, Saint Anselm jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the home half of the second. Thompson led off with a solo shot to left center field to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Sophomore Maddison Leite (Cumberland, R.I.) then doubled to center, before advancing to third on a ground out. After freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick (Danville, N.H.) drove in Leite, Cain came up to bat and sent the ball over the right center field fence to make it 4-0.

Perry retired the next four batters she faced but the Purple Knights got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning. Fallon Tierney singled before advancing to second on a single by Maggie Welling. Tierney came around to score on a single down the right field line by Aleksandra Apkarian to make it 4-1 in favor of the Hawks.

Saint Michael's came to within a run in the fifth inning. A leadoff walk to Leigh Brandenburg started the inning, before she moved to second on a groundout to the pitcher. She advanced to third on a single by Torie Rathwell, before scoring on a wild pitch. Tierney drove in Rathwell with a two-out double to make it 4-3.

Saint Anselm got that run back in the home half of the fifth. A leadoff walk to Thompson followed by a bunt single by Leite started the inning. Fitzpatrick was hit by a pitch a batter later and then a two-out walk to junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) made it 5-3.

The Purple Knights threatened in the sixth again with the bases loaded and just one out. However, freshman McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) got the first batter she faced to swing at strike three before getting a pop up in foul territory to end the threat. The Hawks added an insurance run in the sixth. Junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) singled before moving to second on throwing error. She stole third and scored on a single by sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.).

Smith shut down the Purple Knights in the seventh, getting all three batters to swing at strike three for her second save. The Hawks had five players with multi-hit games.