WARRIORS EDGED, 2-1, IN 11-INNING HEARTBREAKER, DROP TWIN BILL AT SNHU FRIDAY
MANCHESTER, N.H. – After neither side could record a run over nine innings, the Merrimack College softball team and Southern New Hampshire exchanged runs while playing international tiebreaker rules in the 10th inning before the Penmen won Game 2 in the 11th, as the Warriors dropped a pair of close Northeast-10 Conference tilts on Friday afternoon at Penmen Field.
Score: Southern N.H. 4, Merrimack 0 (G1) | Southern N.H. 2, Merrimack 1 (F/11 – G2)
Records: Merrimack (9-15, 2-4 NE-10) | Southern N.H. (14-4, 3-0 NE-10)
Location: Penmen Field | Manchester, N.H.
How It Happened
Game 1 – SNHU 4, Merrimack 0
Ali Maloof yielded just three hits over seven innings for the host Penmen while striking out eight, as Merrimack's bats went silent in a 4-0 shutout loss to Southern New Hampshire in Friday afternoon's opener.
The Penmen offense strung together a run in the bottom of the first, third, fifth and sixth, but only one tally was needed with Maloof cruising in the circle; the Penmen hurler fanned eight, walked just two and yielded just three hits against the 26 batters she faced, as the Warriors suffered their fourth shutout loss of the year in the process.
Seniors Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.) and Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) and junior Lindsay Gibbs (Acton, Mass.) were the only Warriors to tally a hit, while sophomore Alexis Perry (Burlington, Vt.) wound up going five innings in relief with only one earned run allowed and two strikeouts.
Game 2 – SNHU 2, Merrimack 1 (F/11)
After both sides broke a scoreless deadlock with a run apiece in the 10th inning, Merrimack was unable to capitalize with a runner at second to start the next inning with the international tiebreaker rule in effect, as Southern New Hampshire walked off against the Warriors, 2-1, after plating the deciding run in the bottom of the 11th to secure Friday's doubleheader sweep.
Both freshman Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) and SNHU's Dolores Mattice went toe-to-toe in one of the best pitcher's duels in recent memory, as neither yielded a run over the course of regulation, and then the eighth and ninth innings in extras.
That prompted the enforcement of the international tiebreaker in accordance with Northeast-10 Conference rules, as both sides started with a runner at second base to lead off their at-bats starting in the 10th onward.
Merrimack wasted little time in capitalizing, as senior Kelsey Francher (Weare, N.H.) drove in classmate Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.) – who started the inning on second base and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt – by means of a sacrifice fly to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
That advantage was temporary, as Maloof drove in Tesia Stanasek in the bottom of the 10th to draw even before Mattice – who finished with 12 strikeouts – kept the Warriors off the board in the top of the 11th. In the home half of the frame, Katie Caruso would drive in the game-winning run to cap off the Penmen's sweep.
Currie finished her brilliant day with no earned runs allowed over 10 1/3 innings, striking out two while walking none in that span.
Inside The Numbers
- Merrimack finished with just a .183 team average at the plate, batting 11-for-60 on the day with just the one run scored and 19 left on base
- Merrimack also was kept without any extra-base hits over both games, slugging .183 and posting a .275 on-base percentage over the doubleheader
- Giovannini led all Warriors with three hits, finishing 3-for-8 (.375) on the day
- Merrimack did finish 3-for-4 on the bases, with senior Allison Berthiaume (Berkley, Mass.) going 2-for-2 on the day
- Defensively, the Warriors committed five errors over both games for a .939 fielding percentage
The Warriors return home for a pair of doubleheaders this weekend against NE-10 Southwest Division opponents, starting with a Saturday twin bill against Pace starting at 2 p.m.