Merrimack Softball Finishes Atop NE10, Will Host Conference Championship
RINDGE, N.H. – The Merrimack College softball team closed out its impressive 2017 regular season with a doubleheader sweep at Franklin Pierce on Saturday afternoon, winning by scores of 11-1 in five innings and 9-0 to finish with an 18-2 record in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division action. The Warriors will next play in the NE10 Semifinals on Friday.
Score (G1): Merrimack 11, Franklin Pierce 1
Score (G2): Merrimack 11, Franklin Pierce 1
Records: Merrimack (32-12, 19-5 NE10) | Franklin Pierce (1-34, 1-23 NE10)
Location: Bisaccia SB Complex | Rindge, N.H.
2017 NE10 Championships
First Round (Tue. May 2)
Game 1 – #4 N.E. at #3 N.E.
Game 2 – #4 S.W. at #3 S.W.
Second Round (Thu. May 4 @ Merrimack College)
Game 3 – Winner of Game 2 vs. #2 N.E.
Game 4 – Winner of Game 1 vs. #2 S.W.
Semifinals (Fri. May 5 @ Merrimack College)
Game 5 – Merrimack vs. Second Round Winner
Game 6 – #1 S.W. vs. Second Round Winner
Championship (Sat. May 6 @ Merrimack College)
Game 7 – Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 6
How It Happened (G1)
- 1st inning – The Warriors got their 11-run offensive onslaught started early in game one, racking up three runs in their first at bat. Senior captain Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Conn.) would get thing started with an early RBI single, then would be the first of two runs scored on back-to-back RBI doubles from junior Alyssa Williamson (Scarborough, Maine) and senior Tamarra Crowe (North Bend, Wash.) to give Merrimack a 3-0 lead after half an inning.
- 2nd inning – Merrimack would put up another three runs in its second at bat, with freshman Tiffany Mangiameli (Middlefield, Conn.) opening with a leadoff single, followed by a stolen base, a ground out and a wild pitch to get her all away around to score the first run of the inning. Following a walk and a hit to put two runners on, sophomore Caitlin McBride (Danvers, Mass.) would continue her recent tear with a two-RBI double, stretching the lead to 6-0 after two frames.
- 3rd inning – The Navy and Gold would ultimate score all 11 of their runs in the first three innings, capped off by a five-hit, five-run third inning. Waskowitz would bring in the first run with a bases-loaded ground out, followed by senior co-captain Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) ripping a two-RBI double to right center to put the score at 9-0 with just one out in the inning.
- 3rd inning – The very next batter behind Currie, McBride would step to the plate and hit the first triple of her career while tallying another RBI. Williamson would follow suit and register the third straight RBI hit for Merrimack, putting a base-knock in the outfield to drive in McBride for the fifth run of the inning and an 11-0 lead.
- 4th inning – After pitching near-perfect baseball for the first three innings, junior Courtney Zambello (Sharon, Mass.) would let up her first and only run of the game on a sacrifice fly out, putting Merrimack’s lead at 10 runs. Zambello would allow just one more hit following the run, while rack up five strikeouts in the five-inning win.
How It Happened (G2)
- 1st–3rd innings– The Warriors would again get their scoring started early in game two, plating a run in their first at bat on an RBI groundout from Currie. But Merrimack would see its heft scoring dissipate for a stretch as that would be the lone run for Merrimack in the first three innings
- 4th inning – Merrimack would get back on the scoring track in the fourth, adding another run to stretch the lead to 2-0 following singles from Williamson and Crowe and an error in the field from Franklin Pierce. The Warriors would proceed to score at least one run in every inning for the remainder of the game.
- 5th inning – The bats would come back alive for the Warriors in the fifth, tacking on another three runs in the frame on four hits. A leadoff double from Currie would be rewarded with an RBI single from McBride, followed by back-to-back singles from Crowe and classmate Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Mass.) to bring home a run on each base-hit, giving Merrimack at 5-0 lead after five.
- 6th – 7th inning – Merrimack would add two more runs in both the sixth and the seventh inning, with Waskwoitz being responsible for bringing in three of the runs with an RBI single in the sixth and a two-RBI single in the seventh. The Warriors would also get a run on a sacrifice fly from McBride in the sixth on their way to a 9-0 victory in game two.
- While the Warriors racked up runs in all but two innings in the 9-0 victory, junior Megan Cook (Bellingham, Mass.) would pitch her second consecutive seven-inning complete-game shutout, striking out five in the process to close out the regular season with an NE10-best 1.54 ERA.
Inside The Numbers
- WP (G1) – Zambello (10-3) 5.0 IP, 3H, 1R, 5K
- WP (G2) – Cook (10-5) 7.0 IP, 6H, 0R, 5K
- With Cook and Zambello each picking up a win on Saturday, the Warriors trio pitching staff of the two juniors and Currie have now each registered double-digit-win seasons for the first time in their careers, as Cook and Zambello each have 10 and Currie has 12. Cook’s outing Saturday also marks her second consecutive shutout.
- After their 18-run day on Saturday, the Warriors finished the season with 230 runs scored, nearly doubling their opponents on the year as Merrimack only allowed 116. Their 230 runs this season ranks second in the NE10.
- After adding four stolen bases across both games Saturday, senior Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass.) has improved her single-season record with 32 stolen bases this season.
The Warriors will next play in the NE10 Semifinals on Friday at Merrimack.