Series Record - Suffolk Trails, 20-19
BOSTON – After a week off since returning from its Spring Break trip, the Suffolk softball team is back in action Thursday, March 29 as the Rams make the trip to Johnson & Wales to open up its GNAC schedule. Game one versus the Wildcats has a 4:00 p.m. first pitch.
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Suffolk split each of its five days of competition in the Sunshine State to carry home a .500, 5-5 ledger. The Rams wins came over regional foes UMass Boston (10-1; 5 Innings), UNE (7-4), UMass Dartmouth (3-0) and Gordon (4-2) and Bethany (5-1).
Suffolk looks to return to the win column Thursday and start its conference calendar on the right foot.
McKenzie McGrath had a hot Florida trip as the junior third basemen led the way at the dish with an impressive .455/.478/.545 slash line on 10 hits, two doubles, for three RBI and five runs scored. Delaney Sylvester, who hits .400 and slugs .600, meanwhile, leads the way in hits (12) and RBI (6) and is tied for the most runs scored with six to her credit. Ashley Zulla is second on the squad with a .407 average behind 11 hits for four RBI and six runs scored. Payton Sylvester rounds out the Rams with double digit hits as the freshman racked up 10 in Florida on a .357 batting average to bring in five runs and score five herself.
In the circle, Suffolk's staff has compiled a 3.33 ERA paced by Payton Sylvester (1.83) and Taylor Holmes (1.91) sub-2.00 ERAs. In four appearances and two starts, Payton Sylvester owns a 2-2 ledger in 15.1 innings pitched and six strikeouts. Holmes, meanwhile, is unbeaten on the rubber as the senior RHP has won each of her pair of starts. In 14.2 innings of action she has sat down nine hitters. Classmate Ali Yamakaitis has seen the most time in the circle, 22.1 frames, and owns nine punch outs, while Hannah DelCervo fanned seven hitters in just 4.2 innings for one save.
Johnson & Wales swept Anna Maria by back-to-back run-rule decisions to move to 2-0 in GNAC play and 3-6 on the season. Prior to facing Suffolk Thursday, the Wildcats step out of league action as they visit Framingham State Wednesday afternoon.
Tiffani Semanchik is the main force at the plate for JWU with a .450 average and a .542 on-base percentage. The sophomore utility player has produced nine hits, for three RBI and scored five runs. Jennifer Corona, who is also hitting over .400 with a .429 average, has matched Semanchik's hits (9) and RBI (3), while scoring a pair of runs herself. Meghan Gavin, meanwhile, leads the team in hits (10) including a team-best four doubles on a .357 average.
Corona, the reigning GNAC Corvias Pitcher of the Week, is the Wildcats' go-to arm. The senior owns a 2.50 ERA in 28.0 innings pitched over five starts with 23 strikeouts. Saxon Brenahan has also seen double figure frames with 16.0 innings of experience on her stat line, which features a 3.50 ERA.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Suffolk and JWU last met in the GNAC Championship series a year ago. The Rams defeated the Wildcats 3-2 to force the if-necessary game and level the all-time series at 19 wins apiece. In the winner-take-all contest, Johnson & Wales defeated the blue-and-gold 15-5 in six innings to take the conference crown and a 20-19 lead in the all-time meetings with Suffolk.
Suffolk has one day to prep before taking on Anna Maria in a twinbill Saturday, March 31.