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SB: Merrimack Picks Up Sweep on Final Day in Florida

CLERMONT, Fla. – The Merrimack College softball team posted a sweep on its final day in Florida on Saturday, coming from behind in their final at-bats in both games to beat Bloomsburg and Bemidji State, as the Warriors extended their winning streak to four games and improved to 13-5 on the season at the Spring Games in Clermont, Florida.

The Basics
Score (G1): Merrimack 5,
 Bloomsburg 4
Score (G2):
 Merrimack 3, Bemidji St. 2
Records: Merrimack (13-5)
 | Bloomsburg (7-9) | Bemidji St. (9-5)
Location:
 National Training Center | Clermont, Florida

How It Happened (Game 1)
The Warriors would find themselves in a hole early in in their first game on their final day in Florida on Saturday morning, as Bloomsburg would open the game with a three-run homer in the first inning to jump out to an early 3-0 lead.

Merrimack would answer and get on the board in the second inning, plating two runs on two singles, two hit batsmen and a walk to put the score at 3-2 and bring the Warriors within a run after their second at-bat. Bloomsburg would threaten with two base runners in the bottom of the inning, but Merrimack would escape without harm.

After a scoreless third and fourth inning, the Huskies would extend their lead to two runs in the fifth inning, as a leadoff walk followed by three consecutive singles would allow a runner to score and put the Warriors down 4-2. A 1-2-3 fifth and sixth inning for Merrimack would put the Warriors in a situation where they needed at least two runs in their final at-bat to keep the game alive.

As they have done multiple times this season, the Warriors would display an impressive level of resilience against Bloomsburg on Saturday. The Warriors dramatic three-run seventh inning was kicked off by a solo homerun from junior Samantha Harris (Londonderry, N.H.) to bring the Warriors within one with no outs. It is the third home run of the junior’s career and her first since her rookie season.

Harris’ solo shot would be followed by a single, then a game-tying RBI triple from senior Tamarra Crowe (North Bend, Wash.), who continues her strong start to the 2017 campaign. Also continuing her blistering start to the season, sophomore Caitlin McBride (Danvers, Mass.) would step up to the plate and score Crowe with a go-ahead RBI double to give Merrimack its first lead of the game in their final at-bat. The one-run cushion is all they would need as the Warriors would hold on for the comeback victory.

How It Happened (Game 2)
Seeming to thrive in the situation, the Warriors would once again be tasked with playing from behind in their second game of the day, as Bemidji State would put a run on the board in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead before Merrimack had even stepped to the plate.

After being held to just one base runner through the first two innings, Merrimack would get a run in the third inning, sparked by a leadoff single from sophomore Emily Kurkul (Bridgewater, Mass.). Freshman Tiffany Mangiameli (Middlefield, Conn.) would follow up with a double, then sophomore Melanie DeAlmeida (Arlington, Mass.) would knock a runner on a groundout, making it 1-1 after three.

With solid performances on the mound from both sides slowing down the offense production in the heart of the game, the Warriors and Beavers would head to the seventh inning in a 1-1 tie. Bemidji State would manage to score a run in the top of the inning, put Merrimack in another situation where they would need to score in their final at-bat.

The Warriors would be able to do just that, thanks to some help from Bemidji State. Merrimack would pate two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, coming on an error, a hit batsman and three walks to walk-off with a 3-2 victory, closing their time in Florida with a sweep.

Up Next
The Warriors return up north to begin Northeast-10 Conference divisional play when they travel to Stonehill to take on the Skyhawks on Wednesday for a doubleheader beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Mike McMahon is in his 12th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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