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NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College softball team registered its sixth-straight win and third consecutive sweep when it took two big Northeast-10 Conference divisional games from Bentley by scores of 4-0 and 5-1 at Warrior Softball Diamond on Tuesday afternoon. The Warriors have now won nine of their last 10 since April 1.

The Basics
Score (G1): Merrimack 4,
 Bentley 0
Score (G2): Merrimack 5,
 Bentley 1
Records: Merrimack (15-19, 8-7 NE-10)
 | Bentley (10-12, 8-4 NE-10)
 Warrior Softball Diamond | North Andover, Massachuestts

How It Happened (G1)
Merrimack picked up two of their four runs in game one early on as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Merrimack landed its first two batters on base after a leadoff walk from junior captain Samantha Waskowtiz (Killingworth, Conn.) followed by a bunt single from freshman Hannah Johnson (Middleboro, Mass.). Junior captain Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) then looked to bunt the runners up a base, but the ball would jump off of the bat and be caught by the first baseman. A throw attempt to get Johnson out at first on a double play would sail by the first baseman, allowing Waskowtiz to score and Johnson to advance to third. An RBI single from freshman and reigning NE-10 Rookie of the Week Caitlin McBride (Danvers, Mass.) following Currie’s at-bat would score Johnson to put Merrimack up two.

Currie would also start on the mound for the Warriors and pitched a gem for her squad in the first game of the day. The Burlington, Massachusetts native held Bentley to just four hits through the first six innings, and while the Falcons threatened with three hits in the top of the seventh inning, Currie would hold strong to record her second complete game shutout of the season and first seven-inning shutout, picking up her fourth win in her last four appearances.

Still holding their 2-0 lead from the first inning after five innings of play, the Warriors picked up a pair of big insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to extend their lead to four with just one at-bat remaining for Bentley. Freshman Nicole Nanof (Goffstown, N.H.) plated the first run of the inning with an RBI single, followed by a hard-hit double to right field from junior Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass.) to score Nanof to lead Merrimack to a 4-0 win.

How It Happened (G2)
Game two got off to a slower start for Merrimack as the game remained scoreless through the first two innings. The Falcons would take their first and only lead of the day in the third inning, as a double followed by an RBI single put Bentley up 1-0 in the early portion of the game.

After managing just one hit through the first three innings of the game, the Merrimack offense exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, recording five hits and batting all the way through the lineup to go out in front 5-1, with all five runs and four of the five hits coming with two outs in the inning. After singles from junior Tamarra Crowe(North Bend, Wash.) and Tenney and a walk to load the bases, Waskowitz would be hit by a pitch to garner Merrimack its first run of the inning.

The very next batter, Johnson recorded her first collegiate RBI and first multi-RBI in one swing, knocking the first of three straight singles to left field with the bases loaded and driving in two runs to give the Warriors a 3-1 lead. Currie and McBride both followed in order with RBI singles of their own to put Merrimack ahead 5-1.

Sophomore Megan Cook (Bellingham, Mass.) started on the mound for the Warriors in game two and also gave Merrimack the quality start it needed. After the Falcons’ two-hit, one-run inning in the third, Cook held Bentley to just three hits and no runs in the final four innings of the game, including getting out of a jam with two runners on in the top of the sixth inning on her way to her second straight complete game victory.

Inside The Numbers

  • The Warriors’ sweep of Bentley Tuesday marks their third straight sweep of a conference opponent in as many days. They have now won nine of their last 10 games and improve to 6-5 in the NE-10 Northeast Division, sitting in fourth behind Bentley (6-3).
  • Currie’s final pitching line (G1 – W): 7.0 IP, 7H, 0R, 2BB, 0K
  • Cook’s final pitching line (G2 – W): 7.0 IP, 6H, 1R, 0BB, 3K
  • Johnson’s day at the plate: 4-for-6, 2 RBI and 2 runs. Her bunt single in the first inning of game one was her first collegiate hit, while her four hits on the day led her team.

Up Next
The Warriors conclude their homestand tomorrow when they host NE-10 divisional foe Stonehill for two games at Warrior Softball Diamond beginning at 3:00 p.m.

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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