Softball sweeps Stonehill in Saturday doubleheader

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College softball team picked up a sweep of Stonehill College on Saturday, Mar. 30 at the South Athletic Fields in Northeast-10 Conference play. The Hawks won game one by a 1-0 margin before walking off in the fifth inning for a 9-1 victory.

Box Score (Game 1) | Box Score (Game 2) | Video Highlights (Game 1)

Saint Anselm improves to 15-6 overall and remains perfect against NE10 opponents with a 3-0 record. It was also the seventh and eighth straight wins against the Skyhawks, who fall to 3-13 overall and 0-6 in league play. The two teams wrap up the season series on Sunday at 10 a.m. at the South Athletic Fields. The game time was changed due to inclement weather scheduled to arrive in the afternoon.

In game one, it was a pitching duel between junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) and Stonehill's Katherine Rayner. The difference on the scoreboard was thanks to a bunt single by freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick (Danville, N.H.) that plated junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) in the second inning.

The second contest of the afternoon saw a complete game effort by sophomore Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.), who pitched five innings and allowed just one unearned run on five hits with three strikeouts. The Hawks pushed across three runs in the first inning and tacked on four in the fourth and two in the fifth. Sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) drove in two runs in the fourth and classmate Kat Stackrow (Wynantskill, N.Y.) finished with a pair of RBI's.

Saint Anselm 1, Stonehill 0

Each pitcher allowed a combined three baserunners in the first inning but both escaped unscathed. 

The lone run of the game came in the second inning for Saint Anselm. Murphy singled to start the inning and advanced to second on a throwing error by the shortstop. Sophomore Abbie Murrell (Scarborough, Maine) moved Murphy to third on a hard hit single to right field. After the next batter lined out, Fitzpatrick executed a perfect bunt between home plate and third base, allowing Murphy to scamper home.

From then on, both squads were limited to just three hits each over the final five innings of play. Perry had four strikeouts in that span while Rayner struck out two. 

With two outs in the seventh, Stonehill pinch hitter Cassie Holmgren singled up the middle before Gianna Azzato came back in to pinch-run. With two outs and the go-ahead run at the plate, Azzato was gunned down at second on a steal attempt by Hawks freshman catcher Bailey Cain (Wellington, Fla.) to end the game.

Perry got the win for Saint Anselm, going the distance and finishing with six strikeouts while issuing just one walk. Rayner suffered the loss for the Skyhawks, allowing just the one unearned run on six hits and three walks. She finished with three strikeouts. Murrell had three hits in game one to lead the Saint Anselm offense.

Saint Anselm 9, Stonehill 1

The Hawks scored three runs in the first inning off of struggling Skyhawks starter Genna Hartman. Junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) started the inning with a walk before moving to second on a wild pitch. Stackrow and senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) both reached via the walk to load the bases. Washburn reached on an error by the shortstop as Colson scored before Hartman got the next two outs on a fly out and a strikeout. 

After a wild pitch plated Stackrow to make it 2-0, junior Erin Thompson (Newton, N.H.) walked to reload the bases. Sophomore Maddison Leite (Cumberland, R.I.) walked to bring in O'Connor, putting Saint Anselm up 3-0.

Fisher ran into some trouble in the second inning. After getting the first two batters to chase strike three, the Skyhawks loaded the bases with two singles and an error. However, a fielder's choice ended the Stonehill threat.

The Skyhawks finally broke through in the third inning. After Rayner reached on a fielding error, she came around to score on a double ripped down the left field line by Michelle Theilgard to cut the deficit to just two runs.

The Hawks responded in a big way with a strong fourth inning, scoring four runs with two outs. Colson singled before moving to second on a throwing error. She scored on a single to center by Stackrow before O'Connor walked again. Washburn continued her impressive day, driving a ball to left center field to score both runners and later crossed the plate on a double by Murphy.

Stonehill again had pressure on the Hawks in the fifth inning with a pair of runners in scoring position but Fisher got Julia Hartman to ground out to get out the inning unscathed. 

The Hawks capped off the doubleheader sweep in the fifth inning. With one out, the Hawks strung together three straight hits by Leite, freshman Kate Irwin (Milford, Mass.), and Colson. Stackrow reached on an error by the shortstop, allowing Irwin and Leite to cross the plate and end the game.