WARRIORS' LATE RALLY WITH TYING RUN AT SECOND FALLS SHORT IN 4-3 FRIDAY SETBACK
Links: Box Score
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Trailing by two runs in the top of the seventh, the Merrimack College softball team nearly completed its comeback after back-to-back doubles put the tying run in scoring position, but Southern New Hampshire retired the last two batters on a strikeout and a lineout, as the Warriors dropped the series finale to the Penmen, 4-3, on Friday afternoon at Penmen Field.
Score: SNHU 4, Merrimack 3
Records: Merrimack (10-16, 3-5 NE-10) | SNHU (18-7, 7-3 NE-10)
Location: Penmen Field | Manchester, N.H.
How It Happened
A slow start doomed Merrimack on Friday, as the Penmen hopped out to a three-run lead with a trio of tallies in the bottom of the first before the Warriors clawed back into the game.
Merrimack cut the deficit to a run thanks to a two-spot in the top of the fourth; senior Ashley Perry (Winchendon, Mass.) blasted one of the visitors' three doubles in the inning to score junior Lindsay Gibbs (Acton, Mass.), who got aboard with a one-out double. Then, after senior Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.) turned a sacrifice attempt into a squeeze bunt single, sophomore Brittany Razo (Anaheim, Calif.) smashed the third double into left center to score senior Allison Berthiaume (Berkley, Mass.) and make it 3-2 before a strikeout ended the rally.
The Warriors had their opportunities to tie the game; including a fielder's choice at the plate during the fourth and a second-and-third, one-out situation in the fifth, but SNHU starter Dolores Mattice and eventual reliever Rebecca Sherwood kept a potential Merrimack tying run off the board before the Penmen tacked on the game-deciding run off an error in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead by two (4-2).
Still, the Warriors did not go quietly and built themselves another late rally in the top of the seventh. Senior Kelsey Francher (Weare, N.H.) and classmate Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) roped back-to-back doubles to bring the visitors to within a run. But Sherwood got a strikeout and induced a game-ending lineout to right field to hand the Penmen the win.
Inside The Numbers
- Offensively, the Warriors finished with seven hits – including a season-high five doubles – while finishing with a .259 team average in 29 at-bats
- Gibbs was the only Warrior to finish with multiple hits; Razo, Francher, Giovannini, Perry and Fugazzotto all added a hit apiece, as well
- The difference in the game came in the form of Merrrimack's 10 runners left on base, while SNHU stranded five
- Freshman Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) tossed six strong innings in relief, allowing no earned runs on just four hits with seven strikeouts
- Gibbs and freshman Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Mass.) each swiped a stolen base
Merrimack returns to North Andover to kick off a five-game homestand starting with a doubleheader on Saturday against Saint Michael's beginning at 1 p.m.