Softball completes sweep of Bentley in regular-season finale

Softball completes sweep of Bentley in regular-season finale

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College softball team concluded the regular season of play on a 10-game winning streak, sweeping Bentley University in the series finale, a Northeast-10 doubleheader played on Saturday. The Hawks took the first game 4-1 in eight innings before winning game two by a 3-0 margin.

Saint Anselm, which entered the weekend receiving two votes toward the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 poll, wrap up the regular season with a 35-8 overall record and 23-2 against NE10 opponents. The Hawks, ranked second in the latest NCAA Division II East Regional Rankings, have won 20 of their last 21 games and 25 of their previous 27 contests since Mar. 8. The Falcons fall to 18-24 overall and 14-13 in league play.

In the opener, the Hawks broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the eighth inning. Junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) scored the go-ahead run on a single by senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.). Freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick (Danville, N.H.) pushed across the second run of the inning plating junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) before sophomore Maddison Leite (Cumberland, R.I.) drove in the third run on a sacrifice fly. Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) went the distance for the 17th time in 2019 for her 20th win of year, finishing with nine strikeouts, allowing just one run on six hits and a walk. Perry is now tied with Megan Lemire '10 for sixth all-time with 46 complete games.

In game two, the game was tied heading into the seventh as the Hawks were limited to just one hit over the first six innings. However, Saint Anselm scored three times in the top of the seventh, keyed by a two-out two-run single by Erin Thompson (Newton, N.H.). Sophomore Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.) picked up her 10th win of the year and sixth complete game. Fisher moved into a tie for ninth all-time with Emily Chaput '05, earning her 25th career win in 57 games on the Hilltop.

The Hawks' 1.42 earned run average at the end of the regular season is the second-lowest in program history, as is the team's .210 batting average against. The squad's 35 wins to date are also the second-most in program history, trailing last year's total of 44. Saint Anselm pitchers have also struck out 297 batters and need only one punchout to match the all-time record of 298 in one season, set by the 1997 squad.

Saint Anselm 4, Bentley 1 / Final 8 Innings | Box Score

Bentley threatened in the bottom of the fourth inning, loading the bases with one out. However, Perry got a groundout to home, followed by a strikeout to end the threat unharmed.

Saint Anselm scored the first run of the game in the fifth inning. A two-out single by sophomore Kat Stackrow (Wynantskill, N.Y.) was followed by a double by Thompson to put the Hawks up 1-0. Perry set the next three batters down in order.

However, the Falcons tied the game in sixth inning. A walk to Lindsey Allen started the inning preceded a triple to left center by Ella Hillier to even the score at one. Perry recorded the next three outs to leave the runner stranded at third. 

Ashley Keegan took the loss for the Falcons, giving up four runs on eight hits and a walk. She finished with three strikeouts.

Saint Anselm 3, Bentley 0 | Box Score

In the second game, it was a pitcher's duel between Fisher and Lauren Calabrese as each pitcher allowed just one hit through the first five innings. The Hawks stranded a runner at second in the sixth. 

Bentley threatened in the home half of the inning with a pair of back-to-back one out singles. However, a fielder's choice put runners on the corners and Hillier grounded out to end the threat.

The Hawks began the seventh with three-straight singles beginning with O'Connor and Stackrow. Fitzpatrick drove in the first run of the game with a single to center, plating O'Connor from second. After a ground out advanced Stackrow and Fitzpatrick up a base, Thompson singled to center field, allowing Stackrow to score easily from third before a fielding error helped Fitzpatrick cross the plate.

Fisher got the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh before a two-out single. However, a ground out to third ended the game. Calabrese suffered the loss for the Falcons in a complete game effort, allowing three runs, two of them earned, on five hits and two walks. She also had four strikeouts.

The Hawks, who earned the top-seed in the Northeast Division, will host the NE10 Championship weekend, beginning on Thursday, May 2. Their opponent will be determined after the First Round games on Tuesday, Apr. 30.