LYNNFIELD, Mass. – The Merrimack College softball team suffered its first Northeast-10 Conference loss of the season on Saturday as the Warriors split a doubleheader with Southern Connecticut, stretching its win streak to nine games with a 3-1 win in game one, but then seeing that streak snapped in game two with a 5-2 loss.
Score (G1): Merrimack 3, Southern Conn. 1
Score (G2 – 6 inn.): Southern Conn. 5, Merrimack 2
Records: Merrimack (18-6, 5-1 NE10) | Southern Conn. (5-16, 2-7 NE10)
Location: Lynnfield High School | Lynnfield, Mass.
How It Happened (G1)
- 1st inning – Merrimack delivered a majority of game one’s scoring in its very first at-bat, as the Warriors got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. After senior captains Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Conn.) and Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) each reached base on an error and a walk, respectively, junior Alyssa Williamson(Scarborough, Maine) would continue her impressive season at the plate. Williamson would rip a single to center field, scoring both runners and giving the Warriors an early 2-0 lead.
- 4th inning – Currie would get out to a strong start on the mound for Merrimack in game one Saturday, allowing just one hit and one base runner for the Owls through the first three innings. Southern Connecticut would get Currie for two hits and a run in the top of the fourth inning to cut the lead to 2-1, but it would be the only damage allowed from Currie for the duration of the game.
- 5th inning – After a scoreless three-inning stretch for the Warriors following their two-run first frame. Merrimack would extend its lead back to two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Senior Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass.) would leadoff the inning with a single, and then would use her impressive speed to steal both second and third base with nobody out. Freshman Tiffany Mangiameli (Middlefield, Conn.) would ground out in the next at bat, but it would be enough to score Tenney from third base for the third run of the day.
- 7th inning – Southern Connecticut would threaten in the top of the seventh inning, as an error and a single would put runners on first third with two outs. As she has done all season, Currie would buckle down in the high-pressure moment and record the final out to seal Merrimack’s ninth straight win.
How It Happened (G2)
- 1st inning – Southern Connecticut would answer Merrimack’s two-run first inning in game one with their own two-run frame in the top of the first in game two. After two walks and a bunt loaded the bases for the Owls, a sacrifice fly would score the runner from third. An attempt to try to get the runner advancing to second would allow the runner on third to advance another base, scoring two runs for the Owls on the play.
- 2nd inning – The Warriors would get a run back in the bottom of the second inning, kicked off by a one-out double from senior Tamarra Crowe (North Bend, Wash.) that saw her reach third on an error. The next batter, sophomore Emily Kurkul (Bridgewater, Mass.) would step up and put a ball in play the would be a groundout, but Kurkul would place it on the right side of the field, allowing Crowe to score from third.
- 6th inning –The third, fourth and fifth innings would go by scoreless for both sides, with junior Courtney Zambello (Sharon, Mass.) on the mound allowing no hits to the Owls in a four-inning stretch from the second through the fifth. After a leadoff hit batsmen in the sixth for the Owls, Zambello would register two straight outs. Southern Connecticut would then see its next four batters reach base, with two hits and two errors in the field from Merrimack allowing the Owls to stretch their lead to four at 5-1.
- 7th inning – Merrimack would go down quickly in the sixth, managing just one hit in the frame. The Warriors would look to rally in the seventh, with sophomore Nicole Nanof(Goffstwon, N.H.) reaching second with one out on an outfield error. Mangiameli would come through with an RBI single to score Nanof and cut the deficit to 5-2 with two outs, but that would be the end of Merrimack’s comeback attempt as they suffer their first loss in their last 10 games.
Inside The Numbers
- G1: WP – Currie (7-1) 7.0 IP, 1R, 5H, 4K
- G2: LP – Zambello (6-2) 5.2 IP, 3H, 5R, 5K
- Merrimack’s nine-game win streak was one of the more impressive runs for the program in recent memory. It was the longest winning streak for the program since the 2002 season, when the Warriors won 10 straight.
- Currie continues to be incredibly reliable in her senior campaign, has her outing Saturday marked her eighth complete game in eight starts this season. She improves to 7-1 on the year with her win total ranking fourth in the NE10. Currie has seven wins in just eight starts this season, while the three NE10 pitchers above her in wins have at least 12 starts.
The Warriors will host New Haven tomorrow for a doubleheader with the location likely being at Warrior Softball Diamond at noon, with the option to return to Lynnfield at 1:00 p.m. if field conditions are not ready.
Mike McMahon has covered Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune since 2006 and he also has been a senior writer at College Hockey News since 2005.
You can follow Mike on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN and you can follow the site @TheMackReports.