The Suffolk University Softball team split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader with the Simmons College Sharks on Sunday afternoon. Simmons took the opener 3-1 as sophomore Lauren Backhaus (Windor, Conn.) threw a complete game with seven punchouts. Suffolk combined for 12 hits in game two to manage a split with a 7-5 decision. Both teams took part in the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer, as Suffolk Head Coach Jaclyn Davis and Simmons' Anne Hennigan and their teams tried to raise awareness against the disease playing their doubleheader in honor of the cause on Sunday afternoon.
Simmons scored a pair of runs in the fifth and tacked on an insurance run in the sixth inning for a 3-1 victory to improve to a 15-5 mark on the season with the game one win.
Backhaus helped her own cause in the fifth as she doubled in sophomore Hanna Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) who led the inning off with a single to make it a 1-1 game. Backhaus would come around to score later on in the inning as the Sharks took advantage of a Suffolk error, one of four Rams' miscues in game one.
Cunningham added an insurance run in the sixth as Simmons once again took advantage of a Suffolk error. Senior Cailin Pagel (Dorchester, Mass.) got the inning started with a two out single to left. Cunningham would follow her with a single to left as both runners would advance on the ball skipped away in the outfield. Pagel would come all the way around from first for the score.
Suffolk scored their lone run in the game in the third inning as sophomore Sarah Chasse (Salem, Mass.) singled as part of a 3-for-4 first game effort. Junior Erin McAndrews (Marblehead, Mass.) plated the game's first run with her team leading 10th double of the season.
Backhaus was strong on the hill for Simmons as she picked up her 10th victory of the season striking out seven. She allowed one run while scattering seven hits.
Freshman Julia Ludvigsen (Dedham, Mass.) opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run double as Suffolk jumped out early 3-0 after one inning of play. McAndrews and Ludvigson connected on consecutive doubles before sophomore Alicia Gonnella (Bridgewater, N.J.) capped the inning off with a sacrifice fly for the early three run edge.
Simmons would answer with a pair in the third to cut it to a one-run deficit as Backhaus struck again with an RBI single to plate Cailin Pagel. Sophomore Alaina DeNoncour (Johnston, R.I.) would hit into a fielder's choice later in the inning to pick up an RBI.
Alicia Gonnella collected her second run batted in of game two with an RBI groundout in the inning as Suffolk answers Simmons' attack. Gonnella knocked in Erin McAndrews who led the inning off with a triple.
The Rams would tack on three more runs in the fourth inning as Chasse, sophomore Nicole Rosa (Wallingford, Conn.) and McAndrews all hit consecutive run scoring singles in the inning.
Freshman Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) would make it a 7-5 game in the fifth as she drove in two runs with a double to left field.
Caracciolo finished game two 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI, while DeNoncour also had two runs knocked in. Simmons collected eight hits in the game and left nine runners on base.
Chasse and McAndrews each had three hits as part of a dozen hit Suffolk offensive attack in the nightcap. Ludvigsen and Gonnella each had two RBI.
Simmons stands at a 15-6 record on the year, while they are 8-3 in GNAC contests. The Sharks will be back in action on Monday afternoon as they travel to Nashua, N.H. for a doubleheader with Rivier University.
Suffolk has a 6-18 overall mark, and 5-9 record within GNAC play.
They host Curry College in non-conference action on Tuesday afternoon at Popoulo Field beginning at 3:00pm.