WARRIORS STORM BACK TO WIN GAME 1 BEFORE FALLING IN FIVE INNINGS IN LATE GAME
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Trailing by two runs midway through Game 1, the Merrimack College softball team – powered by a pair of homers by senior Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) – stormed all the way back by scoring the final four runs of the contest, as the Warriors won the opener, 5-3, before falling in five innings to split a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader with Assumption on Thursday afternoon at the Warrior Softball Diamond.
Score: Merrimack 5, Assumption 3 (G1) | Assumption 11, Merrimack 0 (G2, F/5)
Records: Merrimack (9-12, 2-1 NE-10) | Assumption (7-10, 1-4 NE-10)
Location: Warrior Softball Diamond | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
Game 1 – Merrimack 5, Assumption 3
After Assumption hopped out to a 3-1 lead, Merrimack roared back with a solo homer by Giovannini in the top of the fourth before plating the game-deciding runs an inning later and adding an insurance tally in the sixth, as the Warriors edged the Greyhounds, 5-3, to take Thursday's opener.
Giovannini was the star of the show, blasting her second and third homers of the year – both solo shots – to finish with a team-high two RBI, while classmate Kelsey Francher (Weare, N.H.), junior Lindsay Gibbs (Acton, Mass.) and sophomore Brittany Razo (Anaheim, Calif.) also drove in runs for the hosts, who were playing their first home games of the season.
Trailing by a run, Francher tied the contest with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the fifth to drive in Razo. After Giovannini drew a walk, Gibbs doubled in the game-winning run with a blast into the gap in right center to make it 4-3. An inning later, Razo would double into the gap in left center to score senior Ashley Perry (Winchendon, Mass.) to add an insurance score that proved to be unnecessary.
Equipped with the lead for the first time all game, freshman hurler Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) made sure it stood, tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings with two strikeouts to pick up the win in relief.
Game 2 – Assumption 11, Merrimack 0
Merrimack's bats went silent in the nightcap, as Assumption built itself a steady lead with a run apiece in the first, second and third before exploding for six in the fourth, as the Greyhounds cruised to a five-inning, 11-0 shutout over the Warriors in Game 2.
Only three Warriors would finish with a hit in the late game: Francher, Gibbs and senior Stephanie Giordano (Leominster, Mass.), who tried to spark the lineup with a pinch-hit base knock in the bottom of the fifth with her first base hit of her two-year career.
Sophomore Valerie Bauer (Salem, N.H.) was solid in relief in the top of the fifth, striking out one while allowing just two hits in that outing. Sophomore Alexis Perry (Westford, Vt.) was tagged with the tough loss after lasting just over an inning, moving to 5-5 on the season.
Inside The Numbers
- Merrimack batted .279 on the day, finishing 12-for-43 as a team over both games
- The Warriors pounded two doubles and two homers over that span, slugging .465 overall
- Four different players led the way with two hit-performances: Giovannini, Ashley Perry, Gibbs and Francher
- Alexis Perry and Currie each fanned three batters apiece, while rookie Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass.) also made an appearance out of the bullpen along with Bauer
- Merrimack posted a .340 on-base percentage while stranding 10 runners over both games
The Warriors return to action tomorrow with a divisional doubleheader at a Southern New Hampshire squad that was receiving votes in the NFCA National Rankings this week. First pitch from Manchester, N.H., is set for 3 p.m.