March 31, 2009

Merrimack Splits with Stonehill for First Conference Loss

NORTH ANDOVER, MA - The Warriors (12-6, 5-1 NE-10) blanked the Skyhawks 5-0 in game one and dropped game two 10-7 after Stonehill scored six unanswered runs in the last two innings.

In game one Merrimack got on the board early, scoring three runs in the first inning. Lead off hitter senior right fielder Jill Richards (Bucksport ME) belted a single to left to start the inning for the Warriors. Following Richards, teammates sophomore Kelsey Ellis (Vancouver, B.C.), and senior pitcher Jill Gagnon (Manchester, NH) each got on and scored. Merrimack added two more runs in the fifth inning and finished the game with ten hits. Sophomores Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, MA), Ellis and Jamie Millett (Hudson, MA) each contributed with two hits in the  5-0 win.

Senior hurler Gagnon pitched a complete game one hitter, striking out twelve. The only hit of the game came in the third inning when Skyhawk Katy Abarr hit one up the middle. Gagnon struck out Ashley Langlois and fielded a hit from Chelsea Stryker to end the inning and avoid any damage.

In the second game, Merrimack allowed three runs by the second inning after freshman Alex Gallant (Salem, NH) walked three and allowed a hit up the middle. Merrimack fired right back scoring six runs in two innings. Merrimack batted around the order in the second with five Warriors getting hits. Richards, Ellis, and junior Casey Conetta (Darien, CT) had three hits each in game two, giving Ellis five hits on the day. In total Merrimack had fifteen hits but could only capitalize on seven of them which proved not to be enough when Stonehill marched back into the game in the sixth inning. 

After Gallant pitched 2.2 innings, Merrimack brought senior pitcher Vicky Cotter (Hampton, NH) into the game to pitch 3.2 innings before being taken out after a collision with one of the umpires. Cotter allowed seven hits, and the Skyhawks were able to push five more runs across the plate for their first lead of the game. After Cotter came out of the game in the seventh, Gagnon took to the mound once again to end the inning. Gagnon struck out two of the four batters she faced, bringing her season total to 79, and allowed one run to score.

Merrimack led off the seventh inning, down by three, with a hit to right by sophomore Kara Melillo (North Andover, MA). Millett reached on an error by the first baseman and Melillo advanced to third. With runners on second and third with no outs Merrimack was unable to score which left them with their first Northeast-10 Conference loss of the season.

Merrimack will travel to Worcester tomorrow to make up the doubleheader against Assumption that was scheduled to be played last Sunday. The Warriors next home game is Thursday when they take on UMass Lowell. Both days the games are set to begin at 3 p.m.

-- www.merrimackathletics.com --