Softball Falls to #21 Dowling, Prevails Past #14 Augustana

CLERMONT, Fla.- The Merrimack softball team picked up the first win of the 2011 season with a 6-5 victory over No. 14 Augustana after falling to No. 21 Dowling 6-0. The Warriors move to 1-5 on the season with the win and the loss.

In game one, Dowling posted an 6-0 victory en route to its 11th straight win of the season. The Golden Lions hit a pair of home runs in the contest.

Alex Gallant (Salem, N.H.) pitched four innings and struck out two batters. Alie Thomas (Bedford, N.H.) came in for one inning of relief and fanned one batter.

Jamie Millett (Hudson, Mass.) recorded the Warriors' lone hit of the contest with a double down the left field line.

Merrimack rallied in the second game to earn its first victory of the 2011 slate, downing Augustana 6-5.

The Vikings got on the board first, pushing a run across in the first frame. Merrimack grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second inning. Kara Melillo (North Andover, Mass.) singled and Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.) followed with a bunt single. Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) knocked in Melillo to tie the score at 1-1. Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, Mass.) plated Palmieri with a RBI single to push the Warriors ahead 2-1.

Augustana scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 5-2 edge. In the home half of the inning, Merrimack loaded the bases to set the stage for Giovannini's late-game heroics. The freshman blasted a grand slam to restore the Warriors' lead, 6-5.

Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, Mass.) prevented the Vikings from leveling the score with effective pitching. Deardorff went the complete seven innings and registered one strikeout in the win.

Merrimack will take on Taylor (IN) in a doubleheader March 23 at the National Training Center.