Merrimack Blanks UMass Lowell, 2-0 and 8-0
NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Merrimack (15-7, 8-2 NE-10) did not allow a run in either of their wins Thursday, taking Lowell 2-0 in the first game and completing their sweep with an 8-0 five inning win in game two.
In game one of Thursday's doubleheader, Merrimack and Lowell went back and forth for four innings before the Warriors finally put one up. Senior pitcher Jill Gagnon (Manchester, NH) started things in the fourth inning with a single up the right field line. After a sacrifice bunt by freshman Kasey Smith (Abbotsford, B.C.) moved Gagnon to second, sophomore Rachel Lozeau (Nashua, NH) knocked her in with a single up the right side. The Warriors second run came in the sixth when Gagnon scored again. Merrimack had four hits in the win, one each from Gagnon, Lozeau, sophomore Kelsey Ellis (Vancouver, B.C.), and freshman Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA).
Gagnon picked up her eighth win of the season bringing her to 8-3 overall. She threw a two hitter, fanning seven Riverhawks. Gagnon allowed only four base runners the entire game and did not walk a single batter.
Merrimack picked up right where they had left off in game one, posting five runs in the first inning alone of game two. After senior Jill Richards (Bucksport ME) led off the inning with a single to right and teammate Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, MA) followed with a walk, Merrimack was able to string three hits together, including a home run by Gosselin, her first of her career, to score all five runs. Gosselin picked up a total of two hits, two runs, and three RBIs in game two alone. The Warriors knocked in three more runs in the fourth inning to complete the five inning mercy rule shut out. The three runs came after sophomore Kara Melillo (North Andover, MA), Gagnon, and Gosselin all reached on hits. Gosselin belted a double for her second hit and third RBI of the game. Gagnon and Gosselin scored when junior Jill Bradford (Stoneham, MA) reached on a fielder's choice and sophomore Jamie Millet (Hudson, MA) reached on a single to left.
Merrimack saw great pitching from their staff once again in game two when senior Vicky Cotter (Hampton, NH) took the mound. Cotter pitched all five innings and allowed only three hits from the nineteen batters she faced. Cotter too did not walk anyone and allowed only six base runners.
The Warriors have the day off tomorrow before heading to New York for the weekend to take on St. Rose Saturday and conference power house LeMoyne Sunday. Both days games are set to begin at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Merrimack's next home game is Wednesday against Bentley.