April 8, 2009

Softball Sweeps Bentley in Thrilling Fashion

Game 1 Box / Game 2 Box

NORTH ANDOVER, MA – The Merrimack softball team improved to 12-4 in the Northeast-10 after sweeping Bentley University 4-1 and 5-4 at a chilly Warrior Field Wednesday afternoon.

In the first game, senior Jill Gagnon continued her stellar season, firing a complete-game, four-hitter, while striking out six to improve to 10-4 on the season. Gagnon took a one-hitter into the sixth and helped herself out with two hits and a run scored at the plate.

The Warriors broke a scoreless tie with three in the fourth as Kelsey Ellis hit a one-out double and went to third on a Gagnon infield single. After Monique Gosselin struck out, pinch hitter Casey Conetta came through with a single to right, which scored Ellis. The throw in from right field was wide of the catcher, allowing Gagnon to score with the second run. They made it 3-0 when Kara Melillo beat out an infield single, and Rachel Lozeau, who ran for Conetta, came around to score on a throwing error by the Falcon second baseman.

Ellis drilled a leadoff homer in the sixth, her third of the season off Bentley starter Tara Fogarty, who fell to 7-4 on the season.

In the second game, the Warriors took a 4-3 led into the seventh, but Megan Blier led off the seventh with a long home run to left center off Vicky Cotter to tie the game. The Falcons put two more runners on in the seventh with one out, but Alex Gallant came on to retire Christine D’Amico and Dina Ferriero to send Merrimack to the plate with a chance for the walk-off win.

And the Warriors finished off the sweep as Conetta led off the seventh with a pinch hit single down the left field line, her second pinch hit of the day. Jill Richards moved Jamie Millett, who ran for Conetta, to second, and, after Kristen LeMay was hit by a pitch, Ellis lined a single down the right field line, which brought Millett home with the game-winning run.

Gallant (1-0) earned her first collegiate win. Cotter, who relieved starter Atlee Cahill after 2.1 innings, allowed just one run in four innings.

The Warriors struck for two unearned runs in the first inning, but the Falcons responded, scoring three times in the third, including a homer from Ashley DeRosa.

After Gagnon tied the game with a sacrifice fly that scored Ellis in the third, Gosselin gave the Warriors the lead with a solo shot, her second of the season.

Merrimack (19-9, 12-4 NE-10) returns to Warrior Field Thursday when C.W. Post comes to town for a non-conference doubleheader beginning at noon.