Softball blanks Bentley behind Perry's 14 strikeouts

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College softball team blanked Bentley University, 5-0, in a Northeast-10 Conference divisional tilt on Thursday afternoon.

Box Score

The Hawks, who entered the game receiving a pair of votes in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 poll, improve to 33-8 overall and 21-2 against NE10 opponents. The Hawks, ranked second in the latest NCAA Division II East Regional Rankings, are also on an eight-game winning streak. The Falcons drop to 18-22 overall and 14-11 in league play.

Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) had a career-high 14 strikeouts without issuing a walk, winning her 50th career game at Saint Anselm. She also became the fourth student-athlete to reach the 400 strikeout milestone and now has 411 across 81 games on the Hilltop. The Hawks also stole seven bases in the contest, the most in a single game against an NE10 opponent since 1993. Junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) swiped three bases and senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) stole a pair of bases. Junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) and sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) each swiped a bag.

The Hawks took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI double by O'Connor. After Murphy singled with one out and stole second, O'Connor drilled a two-out double to left field to score Murphy from second.

Saint Anselm struck for four runs in the second inning. Freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick (Danville, N.H.) singled and advanced on a passed ball before a single by sophomore Kat Stackrow (Wynantskill, N.Y.) put runners on the corners with no outs. Freshman Bailey Cain (Wellington, Fla.) followed up with a sacrifice bunt, advancing both runners, before junior Erin Thompson (Newton, N.H.) pushed Stackrow across after reaching on an error and moving to second, making it 3-0 Hawks.

Colson plated Thompson with a single before swiping second. After Washburn walked, the Hawks put the double steal on that allowed Colson to score from third for the fifth run of the inning. That was all Perry needed as she went on to retire four of the next five batters via the strikeout before a one-out single in the third. After that, she retired 14 of the final 15 batters she faced, nine of those coming by way of the strikeout.

Perry got her 19th win of the year in the circle. Elise Pereira suffered the complete game loss for the Falcons, allowing five runs, just two earned on 12 hits and four walks. She finished the day with just two strikeouts. 

Fitzpatrick, O'Connor, and Washburn each had a double in the game as the Hawks has 12 hits on the afternoon.

The two teams wrap up the series with a doubleheader in Waltham on Saturday, Apr. 27 starting at 12 p.m.