GARDEN CITY, N.Y.- The Merrimack softball team dropped a pair of games at Adelphi Saturday afternoon. The Warriors sink to 24-17 on the season and 19-9 in the Northeast-10. The Panthers move to 27-21 overall and 19-9 in the league with a 3-1 win and 6-2 victory.
Merrimack moves into a four-way tie atop the Northeast-10 standing with Adelphi, Assumption and Southern Connecticut. In order to claim sole possession of the regular season title and the right to host the league tournament, the Warriors will need a sweep in their final doubleheader of the season and for the other three teams to all split or lose both of their final games. The Panthers host UMass Lowell, the Greyhounds host Saint Michael's and the Owls welcome Saint Anselm on the final day of the season.
Kara Melillo (North Andover, Mass.), Jamie Millett (Hudson, Mass.), Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.) and Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, Mass.) all collected two hits on the day. Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) drove in two runs for Merrimack in the twin bill.
Adelphi scored twice in the bottom of the second to grab a 2-0 lead. Amanda Krier led off the frame with a double to center. A bunt single by Deandra Leo drove in Krier for the game's first run. Leo later scored the Panthers' second run of the inning as Amy Ogden stole second.
The home team added its third run of the contest in the fourth as Leo hit a solo homer to center field.
Merrimack got a run in the fifth to cut the deficit to 3-1. Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) raked a one-out double and was pinch run for by Nicole LoPilato (Medford, Mass.). LoPilato scored as LeMay reached on a fielding error by the shortstop.
Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, Mass.) pitched a complete game with five strikeouts and two earned runs.
Adelphi grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning of game two. Shay Craig doubled to center field to drive in the first run. After advancing to third on a passed ball, Craig stole home to double the Panthers' advantage. Leo crossed the plate later in the inning to lift the home team's edge to three.
In the third inning, Leo blasted a two-run homer to give Adelphi a 5-0 lead
Krier picked up a one-out double in the fifth and Leo drove her in with an RBI single to grant the Panthers' a six-run cushion, 6-0.
The Warriors plated a pair of runs in the sixth as Gosselin sent a two-run homer over the centerfield fence.
"We needed to win both games in order to be in good shape to win the conference outright and host the conference tournament. Now our fate is no longer in our hands. Our run production wasn't there and they had some big hits. Tomorrow we need to take care of business on our end and wait to see how the rest of the games play out," said head coach Elaine Schwager.
Merrimack closes out the 2011 regular season with a twin bill at Pace May 1.