NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College softball team split its senior day celebration with Franklin Pierce on Saturday afternoon. The Warriors took game one, 7-1, securing a home game on Tuesday for the Northeast-10 Conference Championship First Round game, before falling 3-2 in the second game. Senior Megan Cook set a new single-season strikeout record in game two and now has 163 this season.
Score: Game 1: Merrimack 7, Franklin Pierce 1 | Final
Score: Game 2: Franklin Pierce 3, Merrimack 2 | Final
Records: Merrimack (30-14, 17-9 NE10) | Franklin Pierce (11-24, 8-17 NE10)
Location: SNHU Softball Field | North Andover, Mass.
NE10 Postseason Outlook
The top-four programs in the division standings advance to the NE10 Championship, with the second seed receiving a first-round bye and the top seed automatically advancing to the NE10 Semifinals. The top seed in the Southeast Division will host all NE10 Championship games. The NE10 Championship First Round will be played on Tuesday, May 1. The next three rounds will be played at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y.
1. Saint Anselm (19-2)
2. Southern N.H. (14–7)
3. Merrimack (13–8)
4. Assumption (12–9)
Rapid Recap (Game One)
- After a quick inning for Cook in the first, Merrimack took a 2-0 lead in the home half, thanks to a bases loaded walk and a RBI groundout by senior Alyssa Williamson.
- Cook retired the first 10 batter she faced and did not allow a hit until the fifth.
- The Warriors added a run in the second. Senior Samantha Harris began the inning with a double. Two batters later, junior Nicole Nanof singled up the middle, bringing in freshman pinch runner Zoe Driscoll-Sbar.
- The knockout punch came in the third, with a two-run double by junior Emily Kurkul, giving Merrimack a 5-0 lead. Classmate Caitlin McBrideknocked two more in the sixth with Nanof and Williamson on first and second. That gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead.
- The lone Raven’s run came in the seventh on a one out double by Ashley Conway. However, senior Brooke Bogacz struck out the final two batters to end the game.
Rapid Recap (Game Two)
- After the Ravens took a 1-0 lead in the first, Merrimack responded, taking a 2-1 lead after the first full inning. After sophomore Tiffany Mangiameliand Williamson were on base, McBride came up with the big one-out double to left center, scoring both runners.
- Cook stranded a runner at third in the second, striking out the final batter of the inning.
- However, Franklin Pierce took the lead for good in the third. A RBI double by Cassidy Sorenson scored the tying run, before coming around to score on a wild pitch.
- Raven’s starter Cyrena Zemaitis settled down for the road team. Merrimack had a golden chance in the fifth, but Zemaitis struck out the final batter of the inning with the bases loaded.
- The Warriors looked to rally in the seventh. Mangiameli singled with one out. Nanof, who was the next battter, sent one that looked like it was going over the wall to straight away center, but it was caught at the wall. Williamson extended the game, beating out an infield single, but the next batter grounded out to end the game.
Notes and Notables
- Game 1: WP – Cook (22-4) | LP – Sabrina LoMonaco (0-5)
- Cook’s Line: (6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K)
- McBride and Williamson each had three hits in the game. McBride also had three RBI, while Kurkul had two in game one.
- It was McBride’s seventh multi-RBI game of the year and 10th multi-hit game.
- Game 2: WP – Cyrena Zemaitis (8-9)| LP –Courtney Zambello (4-5)
- Zambello’s line: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
- Cook pitched 4.2 innings in relief, scattering just two hits, while striking out seven.
- McBride concluded the day with five RBI.
- Williamson and Mangiameli each had three hits in the second game and scored the two Warrior runs.
The Warriors will host Assumption on Tuesday, May 1 in the first round of the NE10 Tournament. A time will be determined at a later date.