Sophomore Brittany Razo (pictured) smashed four hits in Game 1
EASTON, Mass. – After nearly squandering its four-run, seventh-inning lead in Game 1, the Merrimack College softball team bent but did not break to earn a nine-inning, 10-9 victory over Stonehill to sweep the season series before dropping Game 2 by a 5-2 margin, as the Warriors and Skyhawks split a Tuesday afternoon doubleheader at Gartland Field.
Score: Merrimack 10, Stonehill 9 (F/9) (G1) | Stonehill 5, Merrimack 2 (G2)
Records: (Merrimack 18-19, 11-7 NE-10) | Stonehill (19-21, 13-11 NE-10)
Location: Gartland Field | Easton, Mass.
NE-10 Playoff Picture
Top-four in division qualify; divisional records shown
- So. New Hampshire (12-6)
- Saint Anselm (10-5)
- Merrimack (11-7) Clinches playoffs with two wins/two Bentley losses
- Stonehill (10-8)
- Bentley (9-8)
- Assumption (8-9)
- Franklin Pierce (7-9)
How It Happened
Game 1 – Merrimack 10, Stonehill 9 (F/9)
After building itself a six-run lead after four innings, Merrimack had to hang on down the stretch as Stonehill rallied with two unearned runs to send the game to extras, but the Warriors would have the last laugh, plating three runs in the ninth to earn a 10-9 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday.
More importantly for Merrimack, Tuesday's opener was the only game that counted in the Northeast-10 Conference divisional standings, securing the Warriors' three-game season series sweep over the Skyhawks thanks to their extra-inning win.
After sophomore Brittany Razo (Anaheim, Calif.) notched one of her team-leading four hits on the afternoon to lead off the top of the ninth, senior Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas) drilled her team-leading eighth homer of the year to straightaway center before classmate Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.) followed suit with a solo shot of her own, and Merrimack would need every single one of those three runs.
In the home half of the ninth, Stonehill again was the beneficiary of a pair of Merrimack miscues, as the Skyhawks plated two unearned runs to get to within one but sophomore Alexis Perry (Westford, Vt.) hung tight and induced a game-ending groundout to secure the Warrior victory.
Senior Kelsey Francher (Weare, N.H.) also homered and doubled for the Warriors, while redshirt sophomore Becca Armstrong (Methuen, Mass.) added a double as well for the visitors, who hopped out to a 6-1 lead after a pair of three-run innings in the second and third before adding another run in the fourth before the Skyhawks rallied.
Game 2 – Stonehill 5, Merrimack 2
Stonehill starter Cassandra Squeri limited the Warriors to just three hits and two runs while striking out nine over five innings, as Merrimack's bats were kept off the board until the sixth en route to dropping a 5-2 decision against the Skyhawks in Tuesday's Game 2.
Monet Perry's two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning put the first two Warrior runs of Game 2 on the board, but that would be all the visitors would get against a staunch Stonehill pitching effort, as the Skyhawks struck out 11 Warriors altogether and totaled a run in the first, second and third innings before adding two more insurance runs in the fifth.
Inside The Numbers
- Freshman right-hander Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.), the starter in Game 1, took a no decision after allowing five runs over six-plus innings with two strikeouts and a walk
- Alexis Perry picked up the win in Game 2 and finished with 4 2/3 scoreless innings total out of the bullpen with three strikeouts
- Merrimack batted .250 as a team (17-for-66) with 12 runs and stranded 13 on base with a .456 SLG% over both games
- The Warriors finished 3-for-3 in stolen bases while limiting the Skyhawks to none of their own
- Razo led all players with four hits (4-for-6) and scored two runs while Francher and Monet Perry drove in a side-high three runs apiece over both games
The Warriors will two much-deserved off days after sweeping the season series against Stonehill and conclude the regular season this Friday and Saturday, April 25-26, with a four-game weekend home series against Franklin Pierce. First pitch on Friday is set for 3 p.m. with a 12 p.m. start time slated for Saturday, which is also Senior Day for the Class of 2014.