NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Dropping a pair of Northeast-10 Conference games Wednesday, the Merrimack College softball team was swept by Stonehill College in a doubleheader at Volpe Field, 4-2 and 2-1.
The Warriors fall to 11-22 (7-13 NE-10) with the back-to-back losses and Stonehill improves to 16-12-1 (11-7 NE-10) on the year.
"We need to start hitting the way we're capable of again," said head coach Elaine Schwager following the game. "In any event, we need to push runs across the board in one way or another."
In game one, sophomore Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA) put the Warriors on the board with a line-drive over the centerfield fence to bring home shortstop Kristen Lemay (Shrewsbury, MA) who recorded one of three Warrior hits in the first inning.
Sophomore Alex Gallant (Salem, NH) got the start in game one, holding the Skyhawks scoreless through the first 3.2 innings before Skyhawk Katy Abarr tied the game on a two-run bomb over the left field fence. In a complete game, Gallant allowed six hits and struck out two batters but walked five.
Each team went scoreless until the top of the sixth when Ashley Langlois of Stonehill broke the 2-2 tie with a two-run single to centerfield with two outs.
The Warriors threatened to score in the bottom half of the sixth following a single to left field from freshman Courtney Parker (Bellingham, MA) and a drawn walk by senior captain Emily Cummings (North Andover, MA), but the Warriors added two to their total of stranded runners.
Despite error-free softball and going hit-for-hit (six each) with Stonehill in game one, the Warriors dropped their third straight at home.
In game two, Stonehill scored a run in each of the first two innings to gain an early edge, 2-0, after Ashley Langlois of the Skyhawks hit a solo homer in the second.
To cut the lead in half, Lemay hit her third homer of the year in the bottom of the third. Sophomore Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA) singled in the first inning as the only other Warrior hit in the second game.
Despite seven errors by the Skyhawks in game two, the Warriors could not capitalize leaving four stranded in the nightcap.
Merrimack is back in action on Saturday when they travel to Syracuse to face Le Moyne College (12-14, 10-6 NE-10 before Wednesday) for a doubleheader at noon.
"Le Moyne is certainly a good team and we're picked first in our Conference, but we'll have to find a way to string something together in the upcoming six-game road trip," said Schwager. "Obviously this adversity is difficult, but I think it will toughen up our players in the long run."