CLERMONT, FL- The Merrimack softball team earned a split in the final two-game set of its trip to the Sunshine State. The Warriors suffered a 2-1 loss to New York Institute of Technology before defeating Franklin Pierce 11-3 in a non-league bout. Merrimack returns to North Andover sporting a 2-4 overall record while the Bears and Ravens move to 2-6 and 2-2, respectively.
The Warriors were led by Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, MA) with four hits on the day while driving in a pair of runs and scoring once. Becca Armstrong (Methuen, MA) collected a pair of extra-base hits, scored a run and plated three. Nicole LoPilato (Medford, MA) and Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA) each picked up two base knocks, two RBIs and one run. Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, MA) chipped in with two hits and two runs while Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, TX) crossed the plate three times.
In the pitcher's circle, Merrimack registered a pair of complete games as Alie Thomas (Bedford, NH) and Valerie Bauer (Salem, NH) each went the distance. Thomas struck out one batter while Bauer fanned two.
In the first game of the day, NYIT struck first with one run in each of the first two frames to claim a 2-0 lead. The Warriors got a run back in the fifth inning as Palmieri connected on a triple to score LoPilato.
The Bears did not allow Merrimack to plate an equalizer as they held on for the victory.
The Warriors rebounded with a five-inning 11-3 victory over Franklin Pierce in the trip's final game.
Merrimack scored the contest's first run in the second inning before the Ravens level the score at 1-1 in the top of the third.
The Warriors erupted for eight runs in the home half of the third inning to go ahead 9-1. Franklin Pierce answered with a pair in the fourth to cut the deficit to 9-3.
In the bottom of the fifth frame, Gosselin blasted a two-run homer to end the game and finish off Merrimack's six-game stretch with a win.
Up next, the Warriors will host Northeast-10 foe Saint Michael's in the first home doubleheader of the 2012 campaign March 20.