NORTH ANDOVER, MA - Senior Jill Gagnon not only threw her second straight no hitter on Wednesday in Merrimack's (27-17) first round win against Southern New Hampshire, but she scored the game winning run after pinch hitter Casey Conetta lined a single to left.
With the win Merrimack advances to the next round of the double elimination Northeast-10 Conference playoffs on Saturday at Le Moyne College in New York. The Warriors' first game is at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Merrimack came out on top in what was a pitching duel until the end. Merrimack hurler senior Jill Gagnon (Manchester, NH) stepped out on the field at the beginning of the game and did not allow a hit in seven innings, striking out ten Penmen. Gagnon picked up her thirteenth win of the season and second straight no hitter with the shutout. Southern New Hampshire pitcher Kelsey Griffin fought a hard battle as well, allowing only three hits from the Warriors, striking out five.
At the plate Gagnon had one of the Warriors three hits of the game, belting a single to left in the first, and scoring the game winning run in the bottom of the seventh. The other two hits of the game came from sophomore Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, MA) and junior pinch hitter Casey Conetta (Darien, CT).
LeMay reached in the third on a bunt and Conetta who had the biggest hit of the game roped a two out single to shallow left field. Conetta's hit scored Gagnon who had led off the inning reaching on a fielding error by Penmen shortstop Melissa Vitagliano. The run put the Warriors up 1-0, ending the game and advancing Merrimack to the second round of playoffs.