The Suffolk University Softball team took on the Norwich University Cadets in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader action on Saturday afternoon. The Rams split with the Cadets dropping game one 6-3 and taking game two 7-2.
The Rams were the first to get on the board with two outs and a Cadet error. Sophomore Meredith Ball (Nahant, Mass.) reached first on an error by the Norwich shortstop to get junior Sarah Chasse (Salem, Mass) across the plate for a 1-0 lead.
Norwich answered quick at the bottom of the first scoring four of their six runs. Payton Warner (Harwich, Mass.) doubled to center field to plate Kelly Travers (Whitman, Mass.) to tie the game 1-1. With two outs Taylor Morris (Haverhill, Mass.) hit a single to left field to bring in two RBI and give the Cadets some insurance and a 3-1 lead. Briana Day (Yelm, Wash.) brought in the last score of the inning with a single through the left side to score Morris and put Norwich at a 4-1 advantage. Chasse retired the Cadets' last pitcher to close out the inning.
With two outs at the bottom of the second, Norwich senior Erin Clark (Newbury, Vt.) stepped up to the plate and tripled to right center batting in two RBI to give the Cadets a 6-1 edge.
The Rams answered at the top of the third when senior Erin McAndrews (Marblehead, Mass.) hit a triple and scored on an error by the Norwich third baseman to close the gap to 6-2. Suffolk defense held strong to keep the Cadets to one hit at the bottom of the inning. With two outs Nikki Cignarella (Norwood, Mass.) doubled to get the Rams on the bags. Emily Martel (East Hartland, Conn.) would bring in the Rams' final run with a single to plate Cignarella and put the score at 6-3.
Despite Suffolk's best efforts they could not close the gap. Chasse had an impressive afternoon with seven strikeouts and only allowed eight hits. The Cadets' pitcher Corinne Baita (Rochester, N.H.) had an equally effective afternoon with four strikeouts and seven hits.
Game Two: Suffolk 7, Norwich 2
Suffolk was once again the first to get on the board with a sacrificed fly to right field from McAndrews to score Chasse with the Rams' first run of the game. Freshman pitcher Kim Crucioli (North Andover, Mass.) closed out the inning by retiring Norwich's last two batters.
The Cadets answered in the bottom of the second when they took advantage of a Rams' error. Day reached first on the error and then advanced to third to score Clark with an unearned run and a tie game 1-1. Day scored on an illegal pitch to give the Cadets a 2-1 advantage over the Rams.
Both defenses held tight until the top of the sixth when Suffolk was looking to put the game out of reach for the Cadets. With the bags loaded Martel stepped up to the plate and hit a double to bring home two RBI and put the Rams ahead 3-2. With Martel and Nicole Rosa (Wallingford, Conn.) on base Chasse doubled to bring them home and give the Rams some breathing room with a 5-2 lead on the afternoon. McAndrews singled to plate Chasse. With the Rams up 6-2 the Cadets made a pitching change to keep Suffolk at bay. But Anna Grace Maggs (Schenectady, N.Y.) was not affected and doubled to bring in the last run and give the Rams a 7-2 advantage.
Crucioli earned her fifth win of the season and allowed only six hits and two runs with seven strikeouts on the afternoon.
With the split the Rams are now 10-18 overall and 4-8 in GNAC play. The Cadets are 13-11 overall and 8-6 in conference action.
The Rams will hit the road on Sunday entering their third day in a six day game stretch to take on Johnson and Wales in a GNAC doubleheader at 2:00pm and 4:00 pm. The Cadets will travel to Emmanuel on Sunday in conference action for a doubleheader starting at 12:00pm.