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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Thanks to a pair of home runs, including the first-career homer from freshman Caitlin McBride (Danvers, Mass.) to take a late lead, the Merrimack College softball team won their first game of 2016 over Shippensburg at the Snowbird Freeze Out Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., but fell in their second game of the day to Slippery Rock on Friday afternoon.

The Basics
Score (G1): Merrimack 8,
 Shippensburg 7
Score (G2):
 Slippery Rock 7, Merrimack 3 
Records: Merrimack (1-1)
 | Shippensburg (1-1) | Slippery Rock (2-0)
 Grand Park Recreational Complex | Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

How It Happened (Game 1)
After junior Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Mass.) knocked in junior captain Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Conn.), who led the game off with a double, to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the scoring would pile on for the Warriors. Waskowitz would hit a three-run home run in the second inning to start her season on fire, extending Merrimack’s lead to 4-0 after two innings.

Waskowitz would tally her fourth RBI of the day in the fourth inning and score two more runs on errors in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead into the sixth inning. Shippensburg responded by going off in the sixth, scoring seven runs to tie the game in the inning and head to the seventh in a 7-7 tie.

In just her fourth collegiate at-bat, McBride would hit her first-career home run to lead off the seventh inning, giving the Warriors a late 8-7 lead in dramatic fashion. Shippensburg would threaten with a base-runner in the bottom of the seventh, but the Warriors would hold on to their 8-7 lead for their first win of 2016.

How It Happened (Game 2)
The hot start in the second game would unfortunately go to the opponent, as Slippery Rock would put up five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead in the game that the Warriors would be unable to climb back from.

Merrimack would get on the board in the fourth inning after junior Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass.) got on base with a walk, advanced to second on a pass ball, was pushed to third on another walk and then stole home to cut the deficit to 5-1. Slippery Rock would respond with two more runs in the bottom of the inning to stretch their lead to 7-1.

The Warriors would add another run in the sixth and looked to start a rally in the seventh with another, but that would be all they would muster as Merrimack fell in their second game of the day, 7-3.

Inside The Numbers

  • Tenney’s steal home is her first stolen abse of the season after leading the Northeast-10 Conference last season with 30 steals. She was only caught stealing six times in 2015.
  • Waskowitz picks up her first home run of the season after tying for second on the team in the category as a sophomore last season with five.
  • Merrimack finished with 10 hits in their season-opening win and eight hits in the second game on Friday for 18 hits on the day.

Up Next
The Warriors return to the diamond in Myrtle Beach tomorrow for a 10:00 a.m. contest with NE-10 foe New Haven and a 12:00pm bout with Wilmington (Del.).

Mike McMahon is in his 13th 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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