Softball Holds Off Saint Rose to Earn Doubleheader Sweep

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass.- The Merrimack softball team picked up two wins against Saint Rose Monday afternoon.  With wins of 8-0 and 2-1, the Warriors improved to 23-14 overall and 18-6 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Golden Knights slip to 7-26 on the year with a 3-19 mark in the league.

Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) led Merrimack with a 4-for-5 effort from the plate with a home run and three runs scored. Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.) drove in four runs in a 3-for-5 day from the dish.

In game one, the Warriors grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, Mass.) led off with a single to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jamie Millett (Hudson, Mass.). A single by Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.) moved LeMay to third and a single to left by Perry plated the senior.

In the third frame, Palmieri and Gosselin dropped in back-to-back singles with two outs. Perry followed with a three-run bomb over the centerfield fence to extend Merrimack's lead to 4-0.

The Warriors doubled their lead in the sixth inning with four runs to close the game. Amanda Zanni (Reading, Mass.) raked a double down the right field line and Kara Melillo (North Andover, Mass.) drew a walk to open the frame. Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) laced a single to drive in a pair of runs, pushing the score to 6-0.

With two outs in the inning, Millett singled to give Merrimack runners on first and third. A wild pitch allowed Giovannini to score the Warriors' seventh run of the contest. Palmieri ended the game with a double to left center to plate Millett, securing the 8-0 win.

Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, Mass.) tossed a complete game two-hit shutout to earn her 16th victory in the pitcher's circle. Deardorff fanned six batters while issuing three walks.

Merrimack broke through in the bottom of the fourth in game two. Gosselin smacked a double to right center and moved to third on a wild pitch. A sacrifice fly by Melillo drove in Gosselin for the 1-0 lead in favor of the home team.

Gosselin added the Warriors second run of the game with a lengthy home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth.

Saint Rose scored its first run of the twin bill in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to 2-1. With a runner on second and two outs, Deardorff picked up a strikeout to earn her second save of the season.

Alie Thomas (Bedford, N.H.) went four innings in the pitcher's circle for Merrimack, allowing four hits and no runs. Alex Gallant (Salem, N.H.) worked 2.1 innings in relief, surrendering two hits and one run.

The Warriors will host Bentley April 26 in the final regular season home doubleheader. Between games, Merrimack will honor its three members of the class of 2011: LeMay, Melillo and Millett. The Warriors will also raise funds for the National Foundation for Cancer Research as they take part in the "Beat Cancer with a Bat" initiative.