HOOKSETT, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College softball team clinched the Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division regular season title for the second consecutive season on Tuesday, posting a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over No. 13 Southern New Hampshire University.
The Hawks, who scored three runs in the seventh to cap off the comeback, improve to 32-8 overall and 20-2 against league opponents. The Penmen, who entered the game ranked nationally in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 poll, fall to 35-10 overall and 19-10 in league play. Southern New Hampshire lost all three regular season meetings to Saint Anselm.
The Hawks trailed by a run in heading into the seventh and scored three runs. Freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick (Danville, N.H.) doubled to right center with one away and was replaced by pinch runner Kate Irwin (Milford, Mass.). A single by freshman Bailey Cain (Wellington, Fla.) was the game-tying hit, drawing the game even at one. After a fly out, junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) put runners on the corners with a single before classmate Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) plated Cain for the game's go-ahead run. Sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) added an insurance run with a two-out RBI single to center.
The Penmen had the tying run at the plate but junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.), who went the distance and picked up win number 18 of the year, got the strikeout to end the game. She is now seventh all-time with 44 complete games in her career, passing Paige Cormier '15. She needs only three strikeouts to reach 400 for her career and would become only the fourth student-athlete in team history to reach that figure in their career.
Southern New Hampshire used a leadoff home run to left field by Emily Critch, establishing an early 1-0 advantage. The hosts threatened again in the third inning but could not come through to add to their lead. A walk, error, and single loaded the bases with no outs to start the inning. However, Perry got a ground out to the plate, a batter to look at strike three, and a pop up to the catcher to end the threat.
The Penmen had a leadoff single by Critch in the fifth. She advanced on a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch with one away. A play to the plate from Washburn to Cain cut the runner down for the second out of the inning, before a fly out to left field ended the inning. The next two innings were quiet until the Hawks rallied in the seventh.
Perry gave up the one run on a solo home run and issued three walks while striking out five batters. Olivia Strasser took the loss in six and two-thirds innings pitched. She allowed all three runs on eight hits, two walks and had just one strikeout.
Colson, Fitzpatrick and senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) each had two hits for Saint Anselm. It was the first career two-hit game for Fitzpatrick.
The Hawks conclude the regular season with a road trip to Waltham, Mass. to take on the Falcons from Bentley University for a three-game set. The first game is scheduled for Friday, Apr. 26 at 4 p.m.