MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College softball team recorded a tough 3-2 loss to the visiting Skyhawks from Stonehill College on Sunday morning.
The Hawks fall to 15-7 on the year, snapping a five-game winning streak, while Stonehill improves to 4-13 on the year to break a six-game losing stretch. Saint Anselm will head to Franklin Pierce on Wednesday for two games against the Ravens, the first beginning at 3 p.m. in Rindge, N.H.
Three Saint Anselm pitchers combined to strike out 13 batters, but three solo home runs by Stonehill, including one in the top of the ninth inning by Sophie Perez, sent the Hawks to only their third home loss since the start of the 2017 season.
With senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) at third base, the Hawks got on the scoreboard first as a steal of second by junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) forced an errant throw by the Stonehill catcher. The miscue allowed O'Connor to scamper home from third base, putting the hosts ahead by a 1-0 margin in the bottom of the second inning.
Back-to-back solo home runs by Michelle Theilgard and Julia Hartman in the top of the fourth inning turned a one-run Saint Anselm lead into a one-run deficit for the hosts.
Sophomore Abbie Murrell (Scarborough, Maine) tied the game at two in the bottom of the sixth inning, lifting a single to left-center field that scored junior Erin Thompson (Newton, N.H.) all the way from second base. Thompson reached on an infield single to begin the inning before sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) bunted her into scoring position.
Perez opened the top of the ninth inning with a home run to left field, breaking the 2-2 tie. Genna Hartman followed with a single through the left side and, after moving into scoring position, Hawks freshman McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) induced a pop-up to short by Maille Bennett to eliminate the Stonehill threat.
Stonehill pitcher Katherine Rayner recorded three quick outs in the home half of the ninth inning, sending her team to the victory over the Hawks. She finished with five strikeouts, allowing only one earned run across two appearances versus Saint Anselm in the three-game series.
Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) pitched three-and-one-third innings, allowing three hits and striking out six batters. Sophomore Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.) came on in relief after the back-to-back home runs, striking out one batter across one-and-two-thirds innings of relief.
Smith drew the tough loss for the Hawks, fanning six batters in four innings of relief and allowing only two hits.