Saint Joseph's College (29-9, 18-6 GNAC) split Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball doubleheader with Suffolk University (13-23, 11-13 GNAC) at Richard W. Bailey Field on Monday afternoon. The Rams edged the Monks by a 1-0 score in the opener and the hosts rebounded to rout the visitors, 12-0, in five innings in the nightcap.
The first game was a classic pitcher's duel, as Saint Joseph's senior Kayla Vannah (Waldoboro, Maine) and Suffolk sophomore Sarah Chasse (Salem, Mass.) locked heads for seven scoreless innings. The Rams broke the deadlock in the top of the eighth, when Paige Stanley (Fair Haven, N.J.) was placed on second – in accordance with the international tiebreaker rule – and scored on a two-out single by Chasse.
The Monks had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, as Kim Jordan (Bangor, Maine) started in the frame on second and moved to third on a Danyelle Shufelt (Sutton, Vt.) groundout, but the sophomore third baseman would be stranded at third as Chasse fanned Connie Grovo (Limington, Maine) and Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) to close out the game.
For the Monks, freshman first baseman Melissa Mayhew (Hiram, Maine) was 2-2 and Moore went 2-4 with a stolen base. Vannah was the hard-luck loser and scattered eight hits with eight strikeouts over eight innings. The senior captain falls to 9-5 on the season with the setback.
For the Rams, Chasse helped herself by going 3-4 with an RBI while Meredith Ball (Nahant, Mass.) and Nicole Isakson (Avon, Conn.) both went 2-3 at the bat. Chasse improved her record to 7-8 after allowing seven hits and a walk with seven K's over eight shutout innings.
The closing contest could not have been more different than the opener, as the SJC offense came alive with nine runs over the first two innings en route to claiming a mercy-rule 12-0 triumph.
The Monks opened the game with four runs off three hits in the bottom of the first inning. Shufelt singled and later scored on a wild pitch and Grovo rapped a base hit and crossed the plate on a Heather Tripp (Lovell, Maine) fielder's choice. Sophomore right fielder Victoria Ramos (North Scituate, R.I.) delivered the big hit with a two-out, two-run double – plating Mayhew and Theresa Hendrix (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) – to lift the hosts to an early 4-0 lead.
The situation did not improve for the visitors in the second, as Saint Joseph's tallied five runs off five hits and three Suffolk miscues to secure a daunting 9-0 cushion. Shufelt led off with a single and came around to score when her routine base knock went through the wickets of right fielder Jeanette Origel (Roxbury, Mass.). Grovo followed and reached on an infield error, Moore singled up the middle and freshman Alyssa Wade (Peru, Maine) singled to left to set the stage for Hendrix, who delivered a two-run single to right field. Mayhew capped the inning scoring with a two-run base hit, scoring both Wade and Hendrix, to make it a 9-0 game.
In the third, Shufelt reached on a single and scored when Moore singled up the chute and the hosts capped the game scoring in the fourth when senior Kirin Schrum (Littleton, N.H.) scored on a wild pitch and Shufelt delivered an RBI single to account for the 12-0 final.
Shufelt paced the SJC offensive effort by going 4-4 with three runs and an RBI and Moore was 2-4 with a run and an RBI in the lopsided victory. Junior pitcher Rae-Marie Copan (Newton, Mass.) claimed the victory and is now 11-3 on the season after allowing one hit with three K's over three innings while Laura Jordan (Orrington, Maine) and Erica Boulanger (Somersworth, N.H.) worked one-hit single frames in mop-up duty for the Royal Blue.
Suffolk starter Paige Stanley took the loss after allowing six runs (five earned) off four hits and a walk in one-plus innings of work while Julia Ludvigsen (Dedham, Mass.) surrendered six runs off nine hits and a pair of free passes over three frames of relief for the Rams.
Both teams await the seedings for the GNAC Tournament, which begins with a single-elimination round on Wednesday. The Monks will play at home on Wednesday, but their opponent is unknown since several other conference games were being played at the time of this release. The complete bracket will be announced later this evening or Tuesday morning.
(Story courtesy of St. Joseph's College Sports Information)