MANCHESTER, N.H. – Despite having a lead in both games against the 20th-ranked team in the nation, the Merrimack College softball team was swept by #20 Southern New Hampshire in an afternoon doubleheader on Saturday to begin Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Divisional play for both teams.
Score (G1): #20 Southern N.H. 3, Merrimack 2
Score (G1): #20 Southern N.H. 12, Merrimack 5
Records: Merrimack (5-16, 0-4 NE-10) | #20 Southern N.H. (11-5, 3-1 NE-10)
Location: SNHU Softball Field | Manchester, New Hampshire
How It Happened (G1)
Game on of the doubleheader on Saturday would get off to a slow start for both teams, as the Warriors and Penmen combined for just two hits and four base runners through the first three scoreless innings. Junior captain Haley Currie (Burlington, Vt.) would get the start on the mound for the Warriors, allowing just one hit in those first three innings, including striking out the first batter she faced.
Currie would also get the scoring started in the contest in the top of the fourth inning, as she would hit a home run for the second time in three games and second straight game in which she was the starting pitcher for Merrimack. The long fly would be good for two runs thanks to a leadoff single from fellow junior captain Samantha Waskowitz(Killingworth, Conn.), giving the Warriors a 2-0 lead.
The Penmen would respond quickly in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs on two hits, an error and a bases-loaded hit batsman to retake a 3-2 lead. Freshman Melanie DeAlmeida (Arlington, Mass.) took the hill for Merrimack in the fourth and allowed just one hit and no runs in the final 2.2 innings, but the Warriors would be held scoreless as well as the game finished at a 3-2 score.
How It Happened (G2)
Like game one, both teams would take some time to get the engines running as neither side would score in the first three innings with Merrimack outhitting the Penmen 3-1 in that stretch. The Warriors would again get on the board first with two runs in the top of the fourth inning, thanks to a leadoff double from junior Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Mass.)followed by three consecutive walks to give Merrimack the first lead. A sacrifice fly from Waskowitz later in the inning put the Warriors up 2-0.
Southern New Hampshire would manage just one base runner in the bottom of the inning, and Merrimack promptly went back on the attack for insurance in the top of the fifth. After a leadoff single from Currie, an error and a hit batsman, the Warriors quickly had the bases loaded. Back-to-back RBI singles from sophomore Alyssa Williamson(Scarborough, Maine) and senior Brittany Razo (Anaheim, Calif.) gave Merrimack a four-run lead, and a fielder’s choice from sophomore Megan Cook (Bellignham, Mass.)put the Warriors up 5-0 after four and a half innings.
After taking a substantial lead over the 20th-ranked team in the country, the wheels would fall off in the bottom of the fifth as the Penmen piled on nine runs on five hits to completely turn the tables and take a four-run lead of their own. The Warriors would go down in order in the top of the sixth, and three more runs for the Penmen in the bottom of the innings would doom Merrimack to a 12-5 loss.
Inside The Numbers
- Currie has hit two home runs in the last three games for her first two round-trippers of the season. That total leads the team and already matches her total from all of last season, when she finished tied for fifth on the team with two.
- Razo has been hot at the plate as of late as she has strung together a three-game hit streak, during which she has gone 5-for-8 with two doubles and two RBI. She has an on-base percentage of .324 on the year.
- Junior Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass.) picked up her ninth stolen base of the season in game one of the day. That total currently has her tied for first in the NE-10.
- Waskowitz swung that bat well on Saturday, going 4-for-5 on the day with two doubles and an RBI. She improves her batting average to .296 on the season, which ranks second on the team.
The Warriors continue divisional play when they travel to Assumption on Wednesday for a doubleheader with the Greyhounds starting at 3:00 p.m.