March 31, 2011

Softball Drops Home-Openers to C.W. Post

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.- The Merrimack softball team dropped a doubleheader to C.W. Post Thursday afternoon at Warrior Diamond. The Warriors sink to 5-8 on the year with the two losses. The Pioneers improved to 13-5 overall after victories of 6-0 and 9-5.

The two squads remained even at 0-0 through the first five innings of play in game one.

C.W. Post plated six runs in the top of the sixth inning to claim the victory. A three-run homer by Kristen Morcone capped off the scoring in the frame.

Merrimack was unable to advance a runner to third base in the opening contest.

Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, Mass.) tossed a complete game while striking out one batter and allowing six hits. Alex Gallant (Salem, Mass.) notched both of the Warriors' hits in the game.

In the nightcap, the Pioneers quickly grabbed 1-0 lead as they raked three-straight singles in the first inning.

The visitors added another run in the second frame to take a 2-0 edge. C.W. Post pushed three runs across the plate in the top of the third on an RBI single by Kelly Fisher and a two-run home run by Kendall Bright.

Merrimack got a run back in the bottom half of the third as Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) scored Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.) with a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Warriors cut the deficit to three in the fifth frame, 5-2. Once again, Giovannini knocked in Palmieri with an RBI single up the middle.

In the seventh inning, both offenses' run production rose as the precipitation fell on Warrior Diamond. The Pioneers plated four runs in the top half of the frame on one hit to grab a 9-2 lead.

Merrimack chipped away at the visiting team's advantage in the bottom portion of the inning. Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, Mass.) led off with a single and scored on an RBI single up the middle by Kara Melillo (North Andover, Mass.). Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) and Melillo each came home on a wild pitch to pull the score to 9-5.

C.W. Post recorded the final two outs of the game to earn the sweep.

Giovannini finished the game with two RBIs on a 2-for-2 performance from the plate. Palmieri went 2-for-4 from the dish with a pair of runs scored. Each team recorded eight hits in the second game of the doubleheader.

Gallant hurled three innings for the Warriors and fanned three batters. Alie Thomas (Bedford, N.H.) closed out the game with four innings of relief pitching and two strikeouts.

Up next, Merrimack hits the road for a pair of Northeast-10 Conference twin bills. The Warriors travel to Southern N.H. April 2 and UMass Lowell April 3.