MAY 3 | 5:30 PM
Series Record - Suffolk Leads, 35-15
MAY 3 | 5:30 PM
Series Record - Suffolk Trails, 14-19
BOSTON – Suffolk softball has turned its attention to the post-season as the top-seeded Rams will make their 2018 GNAC Softball Tournament debut May 3. Suffolk awaits its opponent as fifth-seeded Albertus Magnus and fourth-seeded Saint Joseph's (Maine) go head-to-head in the first tilt Thursday afternoon in Eastie with the winner taking on the blue-and-gold at 5:30 p.m.
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2018 GNAC SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT
FIRST ROUND - WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 - SINGLE ELIMINATION
Game 1: #5 Albertus Magnus defeated #8 Lasell, 6-5
Game 2: #7 Emmanuel defeated #6 Saint Joseph (Conn.), 5-2
SECOND ROUND - THURSDAY, MAY 3 - DOUBLE ELIMINATION
Game 3: #5 Albertus Magnus vs. #4 Saint Joseph's (Maine) at #1 Suffolk - 3:00 PM - Live Stats
Game 4: #7 Emmanuel vs. #3 Simmons at #2 JWU - 3:00 PM - Live Stats - Live Video
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 at #1 Suffolk - 5:30 PM - Live Stats
Game 6: Winner of Game 4 at #2 JWU - 5:30 PM - Live Stats - Live Video
SEMIFINALS - SATURDAY, MAY 5 - HOSTED AT #1 SUFFOLK
Game 7: Loser of Game 4 vs. Loser Game 5 (Elimination Game) - 10:00 AM
Game 8: Loser of Game 3 vs. Loser Game 6 (Elimination Game) - 12:30 PM
Game 9: Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 6 - 3:00 PM
Game 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 (Elimination Game) - 5:30 PM
CHAMPIONSHIP - SUNDAY, MAY 6 - HOSTED AT #1 SUFFOLK
Game 11: Loser Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10 (Elimination Game) - 10:00 AM
Game 12: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 9 - 12:30 PM
Game 13: If Necessary - 3:00 PM
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
Suffolk (29-7, 22-2 GNAC) wrapped up the regular season with a sweep over Simmons to lock up the top seed in the tournament after owning the tie-breaker over co-regular season champion Johnson & Wales.
The Rams, who ride a 10-game win streak into the tourney, have been anything but impressive at the plate this season with conference best numbers in hits (370), runs (274), doubles (91), homers (28), RBI (245), extra-base hits (123), total bases (553), batting average (.371), on-base percentage (.428) and slugging percentage (.555).
The Sylvester sisters, Delaney and Payton have been the two crucial ingredients to Suffolk's success. Delaney Sylvester, the conference's biggest threat at the plate, who is hitting .491 and slugging .791, has 54 hits including eight jacks, 42 RBI and 32 runs scored. Her sister, Payton Sylvester, is batting .453, with 53 hits including 18 doubles, for 40 RBI and 38 runs scored with seven stolen bases. Ashley Zulla (.455, 45 H, 24 RBI, 31 R), Grace Boehler (.413, 25 H, 14 RBI, 16 R) and Jaclyn Flint (.402, 45 H, 38 RBI, 36 R) are also top threats at the dish for the Rams' offense.
Suffolk's staff is also one of the top in the league with the top ERA, 2.21, and second-best batting average against, .245. Taylor Holmes, Payton Sylvester and Ali Yamakaitis have taken on the bulk of the work in the circle this season. Payton Sylvester headlines the group with a 1.45 ERA, 46 strikeouts through 48.1 frames. Holmes also brings in a sub 2.00 ERA at 1.58 with 53 Ks in 62.0 innings, while Yamakaitis has fanned a team-high 59 batters for an ERA of 2.15 in the most innings, 84.2.
LAST TIME OUT
Payton Sylvester was near perfect inside the circle as she fired a no-hitter in the closer of Sunday's GNAC softball doubleheader at Simmons, while her sister, Delaney Sylvester became the Rams' all-time hit leader behind a two-RBI double, as Suffolk softball blanked the Sharks, 14-0, at Daly Field.
SUFFOLK IN THE GNAC TOURNEY
For the third time in four years Suffolk softball heads into the GNAC Tournament as the field's top seed. The Rams, who are making their seventh straight post-season run, look to hoist the conference crown for the first time since the inaugural GNAC season in 1996. Since 1996, Suffolk had appeared in 17 conference tournament brackets, six under Jaclyn Davis, and will make its 18th trip this season.
Albertus Magnus (23-15) escaped the play-in, do-or-die contest Wednesday behind a 6-5 win over Lasell.
Gillian Fortier is the leading bat for the Falcons with the senior producing 50 hits and 22 RBI on a slash line of .455/.520/.727 to go along with 29 runs scored. Aliza Esposito (.365, 38 H, 16 RBI, 21 R) and Brianna Whitfield (.308, 32 H, 13 RBI, 16 R) are also threats at the dish for the Falcons.
Laura Anderson is the top arm for Albertus Magnus. The sophomore holds a 2.67 ERA over 94.1 innings with 50 strikeouts. Kristen Cunning has worked the most time in the circle, 96.0 innings, with 15 starts and holds a 4.23 ERA and 57 Ks.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Behind a regular-season series sweep of Albertus Magnus, Suffolk has now won six straight versus the Falcons to hold a 20-game advantage, 35-15, in the all-time series.
WE MEET AGAIN
Suffolk's series opener with Albertus was nothing short of exciting as the foes went into extra-inning action before Devlin Frost sent a two-run jack to secure the walk-off, 8-6, win for the Rams. The blue-and-gold used the excitement from game-one and took care of the Falcons in five-innings in game two, 11-3, to seal the sweep.
SUFFOLK VS. ALBERTUS MAGNUS IN GNAC TOURNEY
Suffolk and Albertus Magnus have only met twice in the GNAC post-season with the Rams taking both such meetings including last season's do-or-die semifinal contest, 9-2, in eight innings.
Saint Joseph's (Maine) (19-17) received a first-round bye after multiple tiebreakers put the Monks, who went 15-9 against conference foes, in fourth place.
A pair of every day hitters are batting over .400 for SJC. Melodie Bailey leads the way with a .468 average with 51 hits, 24 RBI and 23 runs. Libby Pomerleau's .441 connection rate falls in a close second and has provided 56 hits, 19 RBI and 38 runs.
The Monks cycle through three different arms. Kristal Smith is the most experienced pitcher with 95.2 innings of work under her belt with 17 starters. She holds a 4.61 ERA with 54 strikeouts. Kate Whitney brings in a 4.59 ERA with 39 Ks through 79.1 frames, while Caitlyn King completes the threesome with a 5.34 ERA and 23 punchouts in 38.0 innings.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Thanks to a sweep of Saint Joseph's (Maine) in the regular season, which featured a go-ahead grand slam from Payton Sylvester in the nightcap, Suffolk moved to 14-19 all-time versus the Monks.
An offensive onslaught buoyed the Rams to a 17-2, five-inning win over SJC in game one, before Payton Sylvester's heroics came into play in the nightcap. With Suffolk trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth, and the bases loaded, the freshman knocked a dinger to clear the bags and flip the switch in Suffolk's favor. Sylvester came in to deal in the circle as well and her fire arm kept the Monks from coming back to secure an 11-6 victory for the Rams.
SUFFOLK VS. SJC IN GNAC TOURNAMENT
Saint Joseph's (Maine) is the most common GNAC tournament opponent for the Rams. In the six post-season matchups, Suffolk has come on out to the winning side over the Monks just once, last season, thanks to Lindsay Pagano's grand slam. Overall, Suffolk is 1-5 versus SJC in the postseason.
Payton Sylvester did what no Suffolk softball hurler has done in the known history of the program, throw a no-hitter. The rookie righthander made April 29 a date to remember in Suffolk softball history as she used just 62 pitches to shutout Simmons in a complete-game effort. Her only blemish in the shutout was a walk in the final frame in her third to last batter.
SYLVESTER SMASHES HIT RECORD
In her fourth at bat of the regular season finale at Simmons, Delaney Sylvester rocked a two RBI double to record her 228th career hit, displacing the previous all-time hit mark in Suffolk softball history set by Rams' Hall of Famer Jess Ferreira (227).
SYLVESTERS SWEEP FPN PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Delaney and Payton Sylvester have made the most of their first and only seasons together in Suffolk softball uniforms and added more for their memory books as the siblings have become the first-ever sisters to sweep FastPitchNews Division III Player of the Week honors, the organization announced Tuesday.
MORE READING: Sylvesters Sweep FastPitchnews DIII Players of the Week
HERO OF THE WEEK
Payton Sylvester of the Suffolk softball team has been named a nominee for HeroSports.com DIII Pitching HERO of the Week after a standup performance inside the circle. To vote for Sylvester, click here.
GNAC CORVIAS PITCHER AND ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Suffolk softball's Payton Sylvester's continues to impress during her freshman campaign as she was named GNAC Corvias Pitcher and Rookie of the Week, the league office announced.
The GNAC Tournament takes one day off before all six remaining teams take over East Boston Memorial Park this weekend with a conference winner set to be crowned Sunday, May 6.