Softball Splits Final Twin Bill at Pace

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y.- The Merrimack softball team picked up a 9-0 victory in game one and fell 5-4 in 10 innings in game two to Pace Sunday afternoon. The Warriors progress to 25-18 overall and 20-10 in the Northeast-10. The Setters move to 20-25 on the year and 12-17 in league action.

Kara Melillo (North Andover, Mass.) led Merrimack with six hits on the day while Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, Mass.) and Kristen LeMay (Shrewsbury, Mass.) each raked four base knocks. Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, Mass.) drove in four runs in the doubleheader with three extra-base hits, including two home runs.

The Warriors got on the board with a run in the first inning. LeMay led off the frame with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Jamie Millett (Hudson, Mass.) followed with an RBI single to centerfield.

Merrimack manufactured six runs in the third to take a 7-0 advantage. LeMay opened the inning with a single and Millett cracked a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. Palmieri drove in both runners as she reached base on a fielder's choice. Gosselin walked and Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.) reached on a fielding error to load the bases. Melillo landed a single in left field to plate the third run of the inning.

A passed ball allowed Melillo and Perry to move up a base as Gosselin crossed the plate. Following a walk issued to Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, Mass.) to load the bags, Alex Gallant (Salem, N.H.) laced an RBI single to right to increase Merrimack's lead to 6-0. LeMay wrapped up the scoring in the third with a single to left to drive in Melillo.

Gosselin led off the fourth inning with a solo homer to left.  In the fifth, Palmieri and Gosselin cranked back-to-back doubles to finish off the scoring as the Warriors cruised to a 9-0 win.

Deardorff tossed a one-hitter for Merrimack while striking out a pair of batters while walking none.

In game two, the Warriors scored three runs in the first. LeMay singled to start the game and came home on a double by Palmieri. Gosselin blasted her second home run of the day with a two-run bomb to left center.

In the bottom of the first, Pace plated two runs to cut the deficit to one. A two-run single up the middle by Samantha Garcia pulled the score to 3-2.

The Setters took a one-run lead in the fourth as they went ahead 4-3. Lana Buchbinder drew a bases-loaded walk to push a run across the plate. Sarah Meleny gave the host team is first lead of the day as she scampered home on a wild pitch.

Merrimack tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the sixth. Melillo smacked a double to lead off the frame. A single by Perry advanced Melillo to third. Amanda Zanni (Reading, Mass.) leveled the contest with a sacrifice fly to left to allow Melillo to tag up and score from third.

Lauren Bell won the game for Pace with an RBI single to left in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Alie Thomas (Bedford, N.H.) pitched 3.1 innings for the Warriors and struck out three batters. Gallant tossed 1.2 innings in relief, scattering one hit and one walk while fanning one. Deardorff hurled the final 4.2 frames and registered four strikeouts.

"A walk-off loss is a tough way to end the regular season but I was proud to see our bats come to life," said head coach Elaine Schwager. "We will work hard all week in order to prepare for the Northeast-10 tournament this weekend."

Merrimack heads into the Northeast-10 Conference tournament as the No. 3 seed team. The double-elimination tournament will be held May 6-8 at Assumption.