NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.- The Merrimack softball team claimed a pair of critical victories over New Haven Sunday afternoon at Warrior Diamond. With wins of 2-1 and 9-7, the Warriors improved to 12-11 on the year and 7-3 in the Northeast-10. The Chargers dipped to 18-11 overall and 8-6 in the league with the two losses.
Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.) led the way for Merrimack with four hits in six plate appearances. Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) registered three hits on the day, including two home runs, while driving in six runs.
New Haven scored a run in the top of the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead as Christina Gelardi drove in Chelsea Harold with a single.
Giovannini plated the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth with a one-out single to right field, following a lead-off double by Palmieri.
Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, Mass.) went the distance, tossing a complete game while allowing five hits and one earned run. Deardorff fanned six Chargers in the outing to pick up her eighth win.
New Haven opened game two with a four-run first frame on five hits to take a commanding 4-0 edge.
Merrimack cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homer by Giovannini to drive in Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, Mass.).
The Chargers took a 6-2 lead in the top of the second with a pair of runs.
Once again, the Warriors' sliced the visitors' advantage in half as Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.) blasted her team-leading fourth round-tripper of the season to pull the score to 6-3.
After New Haven added a run in the top of the fourth, Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.) tightened the gap between the two teams to three runs, 7-4, with an RBI single up the middle to plate Gosselin in the home half of the frame.
Palmieri and Melillo started the fifth inning with singles up the middle. Giovannini sent her second home run of the game over the centerfield fence to level the score at 7-7.
In the following inning, Palmieri pushed the go-ahead run across the plate with an RBI single to score Fugazzotto from second base. Melillo lengthened Merrimack's advantage to two runs with a single to drive in LeMay.
Alex Gallant (Salem, N.H.) pitched five innings for the Warriors and struck out three batters. Deardorff closed out the game with two innings of relief work while retiring three with strikeouts to earn the win.
Up next, Merrimack will play host to Franklin Pierce Tuesday, April 12.