Final At-Bats Prove Pivotal as Softball Splits at Stonehill

EASTON, Mass.- The Merrimack softball team picked up a 7-4 extra-inning victory in game one and fell 7-5 in the nightcap at Stonehill Wednesday afternoon. The Warriors move to 19-14 on the year and 14-6 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Skyhawks progress to 15-21 overall with an 11-9 mark in the league.

Merrimack was led offensively by Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.) with a 4-for-9 effort from the plate. Jamie Millett (Hudson, Mass.) drove in four runs on the afternoon. Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) blasted two home runs in the doubleheader, driving in three.

In game one, Alex Gallant started with a solo homer, her first of the year, in the top of the second inning.

In the third, Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.) and Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, Mass.) reached to lead off the frame. After a double steal, Millett plated Fugazzotto with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Gosselin cracked a two-out two-run homer to escalate the Warriors' lead to 4-0.

Stonehill got on the board in the fourth inning, scoring one run. An RBI single to centerfield by Ashley Langlois to cut the visitors' advantage to 4-1.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Chelsea Stryker singled and scored on a double by Kaitlin Miller. A two-run homer by Katy Abarr knotted the game at 4-4.

In the top of the 10th inning, Merrimack put up three runs to take a 7-4 edge. Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.) drove in LeMay and Millett with a double. Kara Melillo (North Andover, Mass.) knocked in Gosselin from third with a sacrifice fly to center.

Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, Mass.) went the distance, tossing all 10 innings for the Warriors. Deardorff surrendered nine hits while striking out 12 batters.

In the second game, Stonehill struck first with a two-run homer by Kelsey Wilcox to give the home team an early 2-0 lead.

The Warriors loaded the bases in the top of the second with two outs. Millett cleared the bases and gave Merrimack a 3-2 advantage with one swing of the bat. The senior laced a double to right field to score Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas), Perry and Lemay.

In the bottom half of the frame, the Skyhawks tied the game at 3-3 as Nicole Schneider smacked an RBI double to right.

The Warriors took a one-run lead in the following inning, going up 4-3. Gosselin launched her second homer of the twin bill to lead off the frame.

Stonehill leveled the score at 4-4 in the home half of the third. Miller drove in Christina Swider with a groundout. The Skyhawks claimed their second lead of the game in the fifth. Abarr picked up her second homer of the day with a solo shot to left.

Nicole Eisenmann homered to lead off the sixth for the home side to increase the lead to two runs, 6-4. Stonehill added a second run in the inning to own a 7-4 edge.

The Warriors got a run back in the top of the seventh as Melillo drove in Palmieri from third with a ground out, cutting the deficit to 7-5.

Alie Thomas (Bedford, N.H.) went 5.2 innings in the pitcher's circle for the visitors with two strikeouts.

Merrimack returns home to Warrior Diamond following the 10-game road swing to host Le Moyne April 22.