Softball Tops East Stroudsburg, Falls to Mercy on Opening Day

CLERMONT, FL- The Merrimack softball team kicked off the 2012 campaign with a 7-6 victory over East Stroudsburg to register head coach Jill Karwoski's first win with the Warriors. Merrimack capped off the day with a 9-1 loss to Mercy at the National Training Center. The Warriors begin the year with a 1-1 overall record while East Stroudsburg moves to 4-12 and Mercy improves to 7-4 on the season.

Curran Hubbard (Laconia, NH) led the way offensively with three hits, three RBIs and one run on the day. Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA) and Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, MA) each collected three hits in the two games. Gosselin scored twice and drove in a run while Palmieri crossed the plate twice. Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, MA) picked up two hits and scored a pair of runs while recording an RBI. Freshman Jenn Post (Orange, CT) connected on her first collegiate base knock, a double in the Warriors' win over East Stroudsburg.

"Today we showed great teamwork with our come-from-behind win in the first game. We also recognized some areas of needed improvement by giving up too many unearned runs in game two," said Karwoski. "We are excited and enthusiastic about our upcoming games and we will continue to make adjustments as needed."

In game one, Merrimack claimed an early 1-0 lead as Palmieri came around to score the first run of the season in the first inning.

The opposing Warriors pushed five runs across in the third inning, including four on a grand slam, to take a 5-1 advantage.

The blue and gold Warriors plated a pair in the top of the fourth frame to cut the deficit to 5-3. East Stroudsburg tacked on its sixth run of the game in the home half of the inning to extend the margin to three.

Merrimack closed the gap to one run in the fifth with a pair of runs before capturing a 7-6 lead with a two-run seventh inning to secure the first victory of the year.

Alex Gallant (Salem, NH) pitched two and two-thirds innings while fanning three batters. Hubbard came on in the third inning with the bases loaded and two outs. The junior worked three and a third innings to earn the win before Alie Thomas (Bedford, NH) finished the game with a scoreless seventh inning to pick up the save.

In the second game on the afternoon, the Warriors grabbed another quick 1-0 edge. Rookie Lindsay Gibbs (Acton, MA) laced her first collegiate hit to drive in her first career RBI in the first inning.

Mercy responded with three runs in the second inning to go ahead 3-1. The Mavericks added to their lead as they scored three times in the fifth and sixth innings to earn a 9-1 six-inning victory.

Thomas tossed four and two-thirds innings in the pitcher's circle for Merrimack. Freshman Valerie Bauer (Salem, NH) recorded the final out of the fifth inning and pitched into the sixth frame in her first collegiate appearance.

The Warriors will square off against Lock Haven and Hillsdale March 17 at the National Training Center.