Five Homers Fuel Softball’s Sweep of Saint Michael’s

COLCHESTER, Vt.- The Merrimack softball team claimed a pair of Northeast-10 Conference victories over Saint Michael's Thursday afternoon. The Warriors improved to 15-12 overall and 10-4 in the league with a 3-2 win and a 16-6 victory in five innings. The Purple Knights fall to 4-18 on the season and 2-10 in conference games.

Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.) turned in a 6-for-7 performance from the plate with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs. Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.) drove in four runs on the day with two round-trippers while Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) and Jamie Millett (Hudson, Mass.) each plated three runs.

In game one, Saint Michael's pushed the first run across the plate in the third as Stephanie Frank sent a single up the middle.

Merrimack scored twice in the top of the fifth to grab a 2-1 lead. Alex Gallant (Salem, N.H.) came home on a passed ball and Perry tagged up on a sacrifice fly to left by Millett.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Purple Knights leveled the score at 2-2. Meghan Colitti doubled to drive in Bethany Falls.

Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.) laced two-out single to center field in the top of the seventh. Perry followed with a single to give the Warriors runners on first and second. Millett plated Fugazzotto with a single to center to put the Warriors ahead 3-2.

Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, Mass.) hurled a complete game with eight strikeouts and just one walk. Deardorff picked up her 11th win of the season in game one.

In the nightcap, Merrimack tallied six runs in the top of the first inning. Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, Mass.) led off game two with a double and Palmieri followed with a walk. Gosselin drove in the first two runs with a double to left center.

After Gosselin advanced to third on a passed ball and Kara Melillo (North Andover, Mass.) drew a walk, Perry blasted a three-run home run to raise the lead to five runs. The Warriors weren't done yet as Millett stole home for the sixth run of the opening frame.

Merrimack added a run in the top of the second to take a commanding 7-0 lead. Palmieri led off the inning with a solo shot over the left field fence.

Saint Michael's battled back in the bottom half of the second, scoring four runs on four hits to cut the deficit to 7-4.

The Warriors regained a seven-run advantage, plating four runners in the top of the fourth. Palmieri and Gosselin each singled and came home on a single by Melillo. Perry drove in Melillo with a double down the right field line. Millett pushed across Merrimack's 11th run of game two with a single back up the middle.

The Purple Knights tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded and no outs, Palmieri turned a double play by fielding the ball and stepping on third before firing it over to first. Saint Michael's added its second run of the inning on the play.

Amanda Zanni (Reading, Mass.) and Fugazzotto each drew walks to start the fifth frame. Palmieri smashed a three-run home run to elevate Merrimack's lead to 14-6. Gosselin followed with a dinger as the Warriors went yard in back-to-back at-bats. Perry cracked a solo shot to right center to put the visiting team up by 10 runs, 16-6.

Gallant and Alie Thomas (Bedford, N.H.) both pitched for Merrimack in the contest. Gallant fanned three while Thomas earned her first win of the spring with an outing of 3.2 innings.

The Warriors continue the road swing with a doubleheader at Assumption April 16 in a battle for first-place. The two teams head into the weekend tied atop the Northeast-10 standings.