Gagnon Throws One-Hitter in 3-1 Loss, Merrimack Splits with SNHU

NORTH ANDOVER, MA - The Penmen took game one of Friday's doubleheader 3-1 despite Merrimack (23-15, 16-8 NE-10) only giving up one hit. Merrimack took game two 7-6 after putting up 13 hits.

Senior Jill Gagnon (Manchester, NH) threw a no-hitter into the sixth inning in game one before giving up a hit to Karissa Bettencourt. Bettencourt led off the top of the sixth with a single up the middle. Following her the next four batters reached due to an error on a bunt, a fielder's choice, and two walks from Gagnon. The Penmen were able to capitalize on three of those runners to put up their only three runs of the game. Up until the sixth inning Gagnon had only allowed four base runners.

At the plate Merrimack out hit the Penmen with four hits in the game. Seniors Jill Richards (Bucksport, ME) and Jill Gagnon each collected a hit in the loss with sophomore Kelsey Ellis (Vancouver, B.C.) and designated hitter Casey Conetta (Darien, CT) each chipping in with a single. Merrimack's lone run came in the fourth after Ellis belted a single to the left side. She was moved over when Gagnon singled to left center and after a double steal, Ellis was at third ready to score. Ellis crossed the plate on a pass ball to put the lone run on the board.

The Warriors came out swinging in game two, with five different Warriors having multiple hits. Leading the way was senior outfielder Richards who collected three and scored two of the Warriors seven runs. The Penmen jumped out first putting up four runs in the first inning. Merrimack responded immediately with three in the first and another three in the second. Merrimack kept the 6-5 lead heading into the fifth inning when Southern New Hampshire's Melissa Vitagliano belted a solo homer to over the left field fence to tie the game. Merrimack answered back in the bottom of the sixth.

Sophomore Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, MA) singled to lead off the inning. LeMay was followed by Ellis who roped a double to right before being thrown out at third. LeMay scored on the play, putting the Warriors up by one. Merrimack held on for the win and pitcher Atlee Cahill (Gloucester, MA) retired the last two batters she faced after giving up a lead off single to Elena Anderson, who was caught stealing.

Cahill pitched the last five innings after freshman Alex Gallant (Salem, NH) pitched the first two. Gallant gave up four hits in her two innings and Cahill gave up three in her five. Cahill struck out two to pick up her fifth win of the season.

Merrimack will complete their regular season schedule this weekend on the road. They will first head to Pace on Saturday for a double header beginning at 12 p.m. The Warriors will then head to Connecticut to take on Southern Connecticut Sunday with games scheduled to start at 12.

-- www.merrimackathletics.com --