Softball Splits Twinbill With Merrimack

Senior Alison Sumski connected on a grandslam to give the Skyhawks a brief lead in game one.

Skyhawks win 12 inning marathon in game one, drop five inning affair in game two

EASTON, Mass. (April 13, 2016) – The Stonehill College softball team earned a doubleheader split with Merrimack College today at the Warrior Softball Diamond. Stonehill won the opener, a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division contest, 6-4 in 12 innings, before dropping game two 11-3 in the nightcap.

Senior Megan Stuadle (New Windsor, New York/Cornwall Central) led Stonehill at the plate, going a combined 4-for-9 with a run and a RBI. Classmate Alison Sumski (Amherst, New Hampshire/Souhegan) connected on a grandslam in the first game, while junior Taylor Lester (East Northport, New York/St. Anthony's) finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Senior Lauren Esposito (Middlefield, Connecticut/Coginchaug) and junior Lianna Jordan (Staten Island, New York/St. Joseph By the Sea) both registered multi-hit efforts in the opener.

Senior Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Massachusetts/Acton-Boxborough) picked up her eighth win of the season in game one, pitching all 12 innings while surrendering four runs (two earned) with two walks and three strikeouts. Junior Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, New York/St. Anthony's) suffered the loss in game two, lasting 3.2 innings while giving up six runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk.

For Merrimack, junior Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Connecticut/Haddam Killingworth) finished 3-for-7 with four runs and three RBI. Freshman Emily Kurkul (Bridgewater, Massachusetts/Bridgewater-Raynham) went 3-for-3 with a double, homerun and three runs scored, while junior Morgan Phipps (Melrose, Massachusetts/Melrose) went 2-for-2 with two runs and a RBI.


Stonehill 6, Merrimack 4 (12 innings)

Merrimack jumped out to a 3-0 lead, utilizing a run in the bottom of the first on two errors and plating two runs in the second on three singles. Stonehill responded in the top of the third as Esposito dropped down a bunt single to start the inning. Staudle then followed with a bunt of her own down the third base line and Carbone singled to load the bases. Sumski then stepped to the plate and with one swing of the bat, put the Skyhawks out in front 4-3 on a grandslam homerun.

Merrimack tied the game a half inning later as more poor defense from Stonehill let the Warriors back in the game. After freshman Caitlin McBride (Danvers, Massachusetts/Danvers) hit a leadoff double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, junior Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Massachusetts/St. Mary's) reached base on an error to score McBride and knot the game up at four runs apiece.

For the next seven innings, neither team could score, though both sides had their chances. Stonehill finally broke through in the top of the 12th, as Esposito was placed on second base to start the inning and Staudle laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her over to third. Jordan then connected on a triple to right field to score Esposito and give the Skyhawks a one run lead. Lester followed up by putting down a squeeze bunt and plating Jordan from third base for a little cushion heading into the bottom of the 12th. From there, Ropiak put down Merrimack in order to give the Skyhawks game one of the doubleheader.

Junior Taylor Lester went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run today.

Merrimack 11, Stonehill 3 (five innings)

Merrimack jumped on Stonehill in the nightcap, scoring the game's first six runs over four innings before the Skyhawks got on the board in the fifth. Down 6-0, senior Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Connecticut/Rocky Hill) led off the fifth with a single to center field. Junior Jacklyn Oleksak (Massapequa, New York/Plainedge) followed up with a single of her own and classmate Cassandra Squeri (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) moved both runners over a base to put them both in scoring position. Lester then singled to score Ruonavaara and Oleksak scored on a wild pitch. After Esposito grounded out, Staudle singled to left field to score Lester and cut the Warriors lead in half.

That's as close as Stonehill would get as Merrimack scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to go up by eight runs and end the game on the mercy rule, sending both teams home with a doubleheader split.

Stonehill (17-12, 13-4 NE-10), is back in action tomorrow, as they travel to LeMoyne to take on the Dolphins for a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m. Merrimack (16-20, 9-8 NE-10), returns to the diamond tomorrow as well, as they travel to Bentley for a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m.

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