WARRIORS DOMINATE GAME 1 BEFORE COMEBACK WIN IN GAME 2 TO SWEEP SATURDAY TWIN BILL
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – After a dominant showing in a five-inning, 8-0 victory in Game 1, the Merrimack College softball team used a pair of solo homers from senior Ashley Perry (Winchendon, Mass.) and freshman Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Mass.) to storm back and sweep Saturday's doubleheader against Saint Michael's with a 2-1, come-from-behind win in Game 2.
Score: Merrimack 8, Saint Michael's 0 | Merrimack 2, Saint Michael's 1
Records: Merrimack (12-16, 5-5 NE-10) | Saint Michael's (1-16, 1-8 NE-10)
Location: Warrior Softball Diamond | North Andover, Mass.
How It Happened
Game 1 – Merrimack 8, Saint Michael's 0 (F/5)
Fueled by five total extra-base hits, including a homer each from Finigan and senior Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas), Merrimack scored at least two runs in three of its four at-bats to cruise to an 8-0, mercy-rule-shortened victory in Saturday's opener.
Giovannini started the offensive display with a two-run jack in the bottom of the first before the Warriors tacked on two more an inning later. Senior Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch before Finigan doubled home sophomore Brittany Razo (Anaheim, Calif.) to increase Merrimack's lead to 4-0 after two frames.
After a scoreless third, Merrimack exploded with four more tallies in the fourth thanks to a two-RBI triple by Razo and a two-run homer off the bat of Finigan to account for the final margin of victory. Sophomore Alexis Perry (Westford, Vt.) would pick up the complete game shutout after going five innings with only three hits allowed and four strikeouts.
Game 2 – Merrimack 2, Saint Michael's 1
Following the offensive outburst in Saturday's opening round, Game 2 was the exact opposite, as sophomore Valerie Bauer (Salem, N.H.) and Saint Michael's starter Lea Gipson went toe-to-toe in a pitcher's duel before Merrimack won it with some late heroics in the bottom of the sixth.
Following five scoreless frames, Saint Michael's forced Bauer into a jam after a single and a walk, prompting freshman Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) to make a relief appearance from the bullpen.
Danielle DelGreco would get the Purple Knights on the board with a hard single down the left field line, but Currie escaped further damage thanks to some fine defense behind her.
Trailing by a run, Merrimack stormed back after Finigan ripped a solo shot to straightaway center to set the stage for Perry, who had yet to launch one over the wall this season. The senior captain picked a great time for her first homer of the spring, pulling one down the left field line and gone to turn a one-run deficit into a one-run lead for the Warriors.
That was all Currie would need, who promptly retired the side in order in the top of the seventh to pick up her sixth win of the season. Bauer would finish with just one run allowed over 5 1/3 innings with two strikeouts and three hits allowed.
Coaches Vs. Cancer Game
Before the game, Merrimack and Saint Michael's hosted a special ceremony to signify the teams' participation in Coaches vs. Cancer. Merrimack helped raise nearly $700 toward the organization and held a bake sale and 50/50 raffle throughout the doubleheader. Bauer and junior Lindsay Gibbs (Acton, Mass.) presented a ceremonial first pitch with a special pink softball to commemorate the occasion.
Inside The Numbers
- Merrimack finished 14-for-41 over both games, good for a .341 batting average in that span
- Finigan totaled four of the Warriors' 10 total runs on the day and slugged 2.400 with an .833 on-base percentage and a team-best four RBI on the afternoon
- Merrimack was dominant on the base paths, stealing 6-of-7 with Fugazzotto and freshman Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass.) going 2-for-2
- Defensively, Merrimack posted a .981 fielding percentage with only one error in 52 chances
- Merrimack's pitching staff limited Saint Michael's to only seven hits in 39 at-bats (.179)
Merrimack and Saint Michael's round out the weekend three-game series with one final contest tomorrow (April 13) afternoon. First pitch from the Warrior Softball Diamond is set for 12 p.m.