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Cook Throws 15 Innings Over Two Games as Merrimack Advances to NCAA Softball Regional Final


MANCHESTER, N.H.  – The seventh seeded Merrimack College softball team avenged the Northeast-10 Conference Championship Quarterfinal loss to Pace University with a 1-0 win in the fourth game of the 2018 NCAA Division II Softball Championship tournament. The Warriors then defeated the third seeded Penmen of Southern New Hampshire University in the fifth game of the tournament, 4-2, in extra innings. The Warriors will play Saint Anselm tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Links: Pace Box Score | SNHU Box Score | Postgame Interview

The Basics
Game 4 Score:
 #7 Merrimack 1, #6 Pace 0 | Final
Records: Merrimack (32-15) | #6 Pace (27-22)
Location: South Athletic Fields | Manchester, N.H.

Game 5 Score: #7 Merrimack 4, #3 Southern N.H. 3 | Final/ 8 Innings
Records: Merrimack (33-15) | Southern N.H. (38-14)
Location: South Athletic Fields | Manchester, N.H.

2018 NCAA Division II Softball Championship Regional Bracket:

East 1 Region (May 10-12)
Game 1: #8 Caldwell 13, #1 Adelphi* 6 / Final
Game 2: #5 Le Moyne 1, #4 LIU Post, 3 / Final

Game 3: #8 Caldwell 2, #4 LIU Post, 10 / Final (5 Innings).
Game 4: #5 Le Moyne 1, #1 Adelphi*, 3 / Final
Game 5: #8 Caldwell 3, #1 Adelphi*, 4 / Final (10 Innings)

Game 6: #1 Adelphi* vs. #4 LIU Post, 12 p.m. / Saturday, May 12
Game 7 (If Necessary): 2:30 p.m. / Saturday, May 12
East 2 Region (May 10-12)
Game 1: #7 Merrimack 2, #2 Saint Anselm* 3 / Final

Game 2: #6 Pace 2, #3 Southern N.H., 3 / Final

Game 3: #3 Southern N.H. 1, #2 Saint Anselm*, 3 / Final
Game 4: #7 Merrimack 1 #6 Pace, 0 / Final
Game 5: #7 Merrimack 4, #3 Southern N.H. 3 / Final (8 Innings)

Game 6: #7 Merrimack vs. #2 Saint Anselm*, 10 a.m. / Saturday, May 12
Game 7 (If Necessary): 12:30 p.m. / Saturday, May 12

*Denotes Host Institution

Rapid Recap (Pace)

  • The Warriors wasted little time to take the lead. Junior Nicole Nanof blasted a ball to deep left center for a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Setters looked to tie the game in the second. After a pair of two-out singles, Larissa Labs singled to left field. The runner at second tried to score, but junior Hannah Johnson threw her out at the plate.
  • Merrimack had a golden chance to extend the lead in the fifth, loading the bases with one out. However, Pace starter Emma Bernet got the final two batters to strikeout to end the inning.
  • Warriors’ senior starter Megan Cook settled down nicely in the final two innings. She gave up a one-out single and stranded the tying run at second base in the seventh inning, as Johnson made a sliding catch in foul territory to end the game.

Rapid Recap (Southern N.H.)

  • Merrimack looked to strike early in the game, with a pair of one out doubles in the first. However, both were stranded in scoring position.
  • The Warriors scored two in the third inning. Nanof began the inning with a double, followed by a single from senior Alyssa WilliamsonCook drove in Nanof with a RBI single through the left side to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. Junior Caitlin McBride sent a slow roller up the middle that tipped off the glove of the second basemen, allowing Williamson to score from second.
  • The Penmen tied things up in the fourth. With a runner on second base, Sarah Lavallee sent a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence to tie the game at two.
  • Merrimack retook the lead in the fifth. Williamson reached on an error, ending up at second base. Senior pinch runner Breanna Dupuis scored the go-ahead run on a two-out single by McBride.
  • The Penmen were able to tie the game again in the sixth. A leadoff triple by Brittany Perdigao started the inning. Erin Garczynski grounded out to first, but scored Perdigao ran on contact, scoring easily, tying the game at three.
  • After the Warriors were put down in order their half of the seventh, the Penmen started the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff double by Katie Horiuchi. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. However, she was stranded at third after a ground out and a fly out to end the threat for Merrimack and force extra innings.
  • The first batter of the inning was McBride. She turned on a full count and sent a no-doubter into the left field bullpen to give the Warriors a 4-3 lead. Cook stranded the tying run at first base to end the game.

Notes and Notables

  • Game 1: WP – Cook (24-6) | LP– Emma Bernet (15-8)
  • Cook’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
  • Cook recorded her 27th complete game of the season. It was the 15th game this year with six or more strikeouts. It was her 12th shutout of the season.
  • Nanof hit her team leading seventh home run and knocked in her 32nd run of the year.
  • Nanof, Johnson, and Williamson have all hit safely in two straight games. Cook has reached base in the last five games.
  • Game 2: WP – Cook (25-6) | LP- Maddy Barone (18-7)
  • Cook’s Line: 8.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Nanof and Williamson extended their hitting streaks to three games against the Penmen.
  • McBride knocked in three runs, including the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. It was her seventh multi RBI game of the season, second best on the team, and first time driving in three runs. She now has 26 RBI.

Up Next:
The Warriors will play in the final round of the east 2 regional pod against the second-seeded Saint Anselm College Hawks on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. of the first game. Merrimack needs to win the first game to force a decisive second game at 12:30 p.m. against the Hawks.


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