Washburn's walk-off single leads softball over Assumption, 1-0

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Saint Anselm College sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) hit a walk-off single in the seventh, helping the Hawks softball team defeat Assumption College by a 1-0 score on Thursday afternoon in the series opener.

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It was the second-straight game that Saint Anselm won in walk-off fashion, beating cross-town rival and nationally-ranked Southern New Hampshire University the day before.

The Hawks improve to 29-8 overall and 17-2 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents while the Greyhounds fall to 20-16 overall and 13-10 in league play. It was also the fourth win in a row dating back to last season for Saint Anselm against Assumption.

The Hawks loaded the bases in the seventh with a leadoff walk to sophomore Maddison Leite (Cumberland, R.I.), followed by a one-out single by junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.). Junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) drew a one-out walk to make the bases full of Hawks with Washburn coming to the plate. After looking at strike one, Washburn drove the next pitch over the diving attempt of Assumption's second baseman, scoring Leite from third base.

Leading up to the final inning, each team had their opportunities. Assumption had a pair of runners on first and second in the opening inning, but junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) got out of it getting the final batter of the inning to swing at strike three. 

Saint Anselm had a chance in the third inning, loading the bases with an error and a pair of walks. However, Mia Nowicki got a ground out to end the threat.

Assumption had a golden chance in the fifth inning. A leadoff double by Caitlin Mirabell started things off, before she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. However, the next two batters saw just two pitches combined, popping out in the infield each time. 

The Greyhounds threatened in the top of the seventh with runners on first and second and just one away. Perry got a strikeout before inducing a ground out to second to end the frame and setting up the bottom of the seventh.

Perry got the complete game shutout for her 16th win of the season and had four strikeouts. She now has 18 shutouts to her credit, holding sole possession of third place in the program's record book. Furthermore, Perry's earned-run average on the season now stands at 1.55, which is on pace to be the eighth-lowest by any Hawks student-athlete in team history. Nowicki went the distance for the Greyhounds, allowing just one run on five hits and five walks. She finished with two strikeouts. Assumption had a 6-5 hit advantage.

The two teams will wrap up the series on Monday, Apr. 22 with a doubleheader at the South Athletic Fields with the first game starting at 2 p.m.