MANCHESTER, NH- The Merrimack softball team traded one-run victories at Saint Anselm Tuesday afternoon. The Warriors fell 3-2 in game one and prevailed 6-5 in the nightcap to move to 9-13 overall and 3-6 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Hawks progress to 11-15 on the year and 5-5 in league action.
Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, MA) and Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, MA) led Merrimack in the doubleheader with three hits each. Palmieri also scored three runs while Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, TX) drove in three RBIs.
Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, MA) led the way in the pitcher's circle with nine innings pitches and six strikeouts.
"We did a good job of responding in game two and I felt that we played hardall day," said head coach Jill Karwoski. "We will look to keep our level of play up as we head into some important games this week."
In the opening contest, Saint Anselm grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Kat Scafidi doubled to left center to score Nicole Boucher from first.
The Warriors captured a 2-1 advantage in the top of the fifth. Jenn Post (Orange, CT) led off with a single to right and Gabby Rivers (Syracuse, NY) entered as a pinch runner. Rivers came around to score the tying run on an error as Palmieri reached on a bunt and advanced to third. Fugazzotto grounded out to the pitcher while also driving in Palmieri to lift the visitors ahead by one.
The Hawks plated a pair of runs in the sixth to reclaim a one-run edge. With two outs in the inning, Lauren Galavotti reached on a fielder's choice before stealing second. Hannah Byrne followed with an RBI triple to right to level the score at 2-2. Mary Fay singled down the left field line to give the hosts a 3-2 lead.
Deardorff tossed a complete game in the first tilt and struck out three batters.
In game two, Merrimack pushed across the first runs as it scored three in the top of the first. Palmieri and Fugazzotto led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Giovannini cleared the bases with a three-run home run, her second of the year.
Saint Anselm got a run back in the second as Cara Crowley's sacrifice fly to right scored Galavotti.
The Warriors pushed their lead back to three runs with a lead-off solo homer by Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA) in the third. The blast gave Gosselin sole possession of second on the all-time home run list in program history with 33 career homers.
The Hawks tallied a pair of runs in the home half of the frame to pull to within one, 4-3. Galavotti singled to right to score Saint Anselm's first run of the inning. Byrne drove in the home team's third run of the contest with a sacrifice fly.
Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, MA) launched a solo shot with one away in the fourth inning to add to Merrimack's lead, 5-3.
In the sixth, the Hawks evened the score at 5-5 with two runs. Boucher doubled down the left field line to allow a pair of runners to cross the plate.
The Warriors seized the lead in the top of the seventh inning on a home run to left by Palmieri.
Deardorff hurled the first three frames and racked up three strikeouts. Alie Thomas (Bedford, NH) finished the game in the pitcher's circle and worked four innings while allowing five hits and two runs to improve to 5-5 on the season.
Merrimack will return to Syracuse, NY to take on Le Moyne April 5 in a doubleheader rescheduled from April 1.