BLOOMFIELD, NJ- The Merrimack softball team claimed its first doubleheader sweep of the 2012 campaign Friday afternoon, defeating Bloomfield 3-1 and 11-2 in non-league action. The Warriors climb to 6-6 on the season while the Deacons dip to 15-8 overall.
Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, MA) led the Merrimack offense with three hits on the day while Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA) drove in four RBIs and touch home three times. Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, TX) plated three runs in the doubleheader and Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, MA) scored three times.
In the pitcher's circle, Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, MA) logged eight innings with nine strikeouts in the two-game set.
In game one, the Warriors got on the board in the top of the fourth to claim a 1-0 advantage. Allison Berthiaume (Berkley, MA) nearly broke the scoreless tie early in the inning but was tagged out at home. Merrimack plated its first run of the day as Ashley Perry (Winchendon, MA) came around to score on an error with two outs in the fourth.
The visitors added to their lead in the next frame, tacking on a pair of run to increase the margin to 3-0. Fugazzotto led off the inning with her second base knock of the contest before Gosselin launched a two-run home run for her second of the year.
Bloomfield responded in the home half of the inning with an RBI single off the bat of Ashton Corley to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Deardorff threw a complete game while scattering six hits and fanning nine in the opening tilt.
Merrimack wasted no time in the second game of the day as it jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Palmieri led off the nightcap with her second home run of the season.
The Warriors erupted for five runs in the top of the third extend the gap to six, 6-0. Nicole LoPilato (Medford, MA) raked a leadoff double followed by a walk to Palmieri and a single by Fugazzotto to load the bases. An error by the shortstop allowed LoPilato and Palmieri to cross the plate. Curran Hubbard (Laconia, NH) drew a one-out walk to fill the bags again for the visiting team.
Fugazzotto and Gosselin both came around to score on a two-run single by Giovannini with two outs. Hubbard scooted home on a wild pitch to cap off the five-run outburst.
In the bottom of the third, Corley doubled in her second RBI of the doubleheader to erase the shutout and draw the Deacons to within five, 6-1.
Giovannini blasted her first homer of the year in the sixth frame with one away to restore Merrimack's six-run edge, 7-1.
Bloomfield sliced into the Warriors' lead with an RBI double by Alexandria Smith to pull the score to 7-2.
The visitors erupted for four runs in the top of the seventh to lengthen the gap between the two teams to eight, 11-2. With runners on second and third and one out, Gosselin laced a single to score a pair of runs. Hubbard followed with an RBI double to score Gosselin from first base.
Courtney Ulak (Rehoboth, MA) rounded out the scoring with her first collegiate RBI. The rookie landed a single with two outs that allowed Hubbard to round third and score.
Alie Thomas (Bedford, NH) started game two in the pitcher's circle and went five innings with a pair of strikeouts. Alex Gallant (Salem, NH) and Deardorff finished the game with an inning of relief action each.
Merrimack will visit C.W. Post March 24 in a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament East Super Regional series.