CLERMONT, Fla. – The Merrimack College softball team registered two wins in two games in its first day of eight down in Florida on Saturday, as the Warriors beat #22 Wayne State in extra innings and West Chester to register its third consecutive sweep and improve to 7-1 on the season.
Score (G1 – 8 innings): Merrimack 5, #22 Wayne State 4
Score (G2): Merrimack 10, West Chester 8
Records: Merrimack (7-1) | #22 Wayne State (11-5) | West Chester (7-4)
Location: National Training Center | Clermont, Florida
How It Happened (Game 1)
After shutting out Wayne State during the 2016 season at the Spring Games when it was also ranked 22nd in the nation, Merrimack would find itself behind early in their 2017 matchup on Saturday afternoon as the Warriors of Wayne State would plate two runs in the top of the first inning to take a quick 2-0 lead over the Warriors of Merrimack.
The Navy and Gold would respond in the bottom of the opening inning, getting a run back on a standup RBI triple from junior Alyssa Williamson (Scarborough, Maine) to cut the deficit to just one run after the first.
Following a quick second inning and top half of the third, Merrimack would use some small ball to grind out another run in the bottom of the inning. A pair of singles and a walk would load up the bases with sophomore Caitlin McBride (Danvers, Mass.) coming to the plate. After falling behind in then count 1-2, McBride would battle her way to a walk to bring in the tying run at 2-2.
After some quiet innings at the plate following its two-run first inning, Wayne State would open up for three hits an two runs in the top of the seventh to take a 4-2 lead. Needing two runs to stay alive, Merrimack would use a leadoff walk followed by an infield single from senior captain Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Conn.) that advanced the runner to third to put runners on the corners. An RBI groundout from fellow senior captain Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) would bring Merrimack within one, then Williamson would come through again with an RBI double to tie the game and send it to extras.
Merrimack would make quick work of Wayne State at the plate in the top of the eighth inning to give themselves a chance to win it in the bottom of the inning. Thanks to a single from McBride that was mishandled by n outfielder fly, the placed runner on second would score, giving Merrimack a 5-4 win over the 22nd-ranked team in the country.
How It Happened (Game 2)
Designated as the away team for game two of the day, the Warriors would get a chance to take the first at-bat and get out to an early lead. Merrimack would do just the, going up 1-0 in the first on an RBI groundout from Williamson, but saw West Chester quickly answer with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning to make it 1-1 after one.
Merrimack would retake a one-run lead on an RBI single from Currie in the top of the third inning while the Warriors held West Chester scoreless through the second in third. The Golden Rams would jump on Merrimack for three runs in the fourth, though, taking a 4-2 lead into the fifth. The Warriors would promptly answer with four runs in the top of the fifth inning on another RBI and a double from Williamson, a bunt-RBI single for senior Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Mass.) and some errors in the field from West Chester, giving Merrimack a 6-4 lead after five.
The Warrior offense would not let up, scoring two runs in both the sixth and seventh innings, highlighted by yet another RBI double for Williamson, to give themselves a 10-5 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.
West Chester would threaten in their final at-bat, adding three runs on the board to bring them within two of Merrimack, but it would be all they would manage as the Warriors sealed a 10-8 victory and a day-one sweep in Florida.
The Warriors return to the diamond in Florida tomorrow for a doubleheader with Dominican beginning at 3:30 p.m.