Stonehill Splits Against Two ECC Squads At Dot Richardson Games

Skyhawks fall to Mercy, 6-5, before defeating St. Thomas Aquinas, 8-2

CLERMONT, Fla. (March 12, 2014) – The Stonehill College softball team split a pair of contests today at the Dot Richardson Spring Games in non-conference action at Hancock Park. Stonehill dropped a tight, 6-5 contest to Mercy College before rebounding to top St. Thomas Aquinas College, 8-2.

Mercy 6, Stonehill 5 

Sophomore Alison Sumski recorded five hits in two games today, including Stonehill's first home run of the season

Stonehill lost its opener today in heartbreaking fashion, after loading the bases in the seventh inning with no outs. Sophomore Alison Sumski (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) led the Skyhawks with a three-hit effort, while freshman Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, N.Y./St. Anthony's) went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Senior Jocelynne Morrell (West Haven, Conn./West Haven) also recorded two hits to go with one RBI and one run, while sophomore Megan Staudle (New Windsor, N.Y./Cornwall Central) added a hit and one RBI.

Sophomore Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) started the game in the circle, and she lasted two innings giving up four runs. Classmate Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) took the loss after giving up two runs on eight hits in four innings of work.

Juniors Megan Johnson (Gilbert, Ariz./Seton Catholic Prep) and Michelle Duford (Maple Ridge, B.C./Seward County CC) led the Maverick offense with three hits and one RBI each, while classmate Eryn Martinez (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho) tallied three hits and senior Briana Panarese (Monroe, N.Y./Monroe-Woodbury) added two.

Senior Mary Sieber (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) earned the win for the Mavericks, as she pitched a complete game, allowing five runs on nine hits while striking out four.

Stonehill jumped out to an early lead on Carbone's two-run single in the first inning, but Mercy answered with four runs of its own in the second inning. The Mavericks capitalized on a costly three-run error to take a 3-2 lead, before Johnson singled home another run to put Mercy up 4-2 after two frames.

Stonehill got one run back in the third on a sacrifice fly by senior Lindsay McKillop (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow), but Mercy scored two more times in the fifth and held onto its 6-3 lead until the seventh inning.

Down three runs in the top of the seventh, Ruonavaara led off with a walk, and the next two batters reached to load the bases. Morrell followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 6-4, and then Staudle drove in a run with a hit by pitch to draw the Skyhawks to within one, still with nobody out and the bases loaded. Sieber worked out of the jam by forcing McKillop to fly out, and the final two batters to ground out as Mercy hung on for the narrow win.

Stonehill 8, St. Thomas Aquinas 2

Senior Brianna Gunter also hit a home run to help lead Stonehill to an 8-2 win over St. Thomas Aquinas.

After the tight loss in the opener, the Skyhawks picked up 12 hits and cruised to an 8-2 victory over the Spartans in their second game. Ruonavaara paced the offense with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate, including one RBI and one run, while Carbone and Sumski each recorded two hits, one RBI and one run.

Sophomore Lauren Esposito (Middlefield, Conn./Coginchaug) earned the win for Stonehill after going five innings and allowing just one run on three hits. Esposito struck out four and walked three before giving way to freshman Cassandra Squeri (New Providence, N.J./New Providence), who gave up one run on two hits in two innings of work.

St. Thomas Aquinas was led offensively by freshman Julie Sosnicki (Lyndhurst, N.J./Rutherford), who went 2-for-3 with two runs. Sophomore Samantha McDonald (New City, N.Y./Clarkstown South) was 1-for-3 with one RBI and one walk, and senior Jamie McCormick (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) added a hit for the Spartans. Sosnicki also pitched for St. Thomas Aquinas, and she took the loss after giving up eight runs on 12 hits while walking three.

Stonehill batted around for the first time this season in the first inning, and in the process put seven runs on the board. Sumski led off the contest with a home run, Stonehill's first of 2014, and Morrell followed by reaching base on an error. McKillop and Carbone then registered consecutive singles, the second of which scored a run. Ruonavaara followed with another RBI single, giving Stonehill three runs before St. Thomas Aquinas recorded an out. After two sacrifice flies and a single by freshman Taylor Lester (East Northport, N.Y./St. Anthony's), Sumski came up for the second time in the inning and picked up another single. When the damage was done, Stonehill had put up seven runs on eight hits and one error in the frame.

The Skyhawks added another run in the third inning, as senior Brianna Gunter (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) hit Stonehill's second home run of the contest. Stonehill would not score for the remainder of the game, but the Spartans only managed single runs in the fifth and seventh innings.

Stonehill (4-4, 0-0 NE-10) will be off tomorrow, before returning to action on Friday with a pair of contests. The Skyhawks will play Tiffin University at 11 a.m. before taking on Minot State University at 1 p.m. Mercy (3-5, 0-0 ECC) is scheduled to play a doubleheader against NE-10 foe Assumption College tomorrow, while St. Thomas Aquinas (1-6, 0-0 ECC) is off until next Tuesday, when the Spartans are set to face Felician College in a doubleheader.

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