STANDISH, Maine – A powerful start, seven runs over the first two innings, pushed Suffolk softball past Saint Joseph's (Maine), 10-6, Monday afternoon at Richard W. Bailey Field. The Rams' win clinched the second seed in the GNAC North Division for a first-round bye in the upcoming 2019 GNAC Tournament.
SCORE: Suffolk 10 | Saint Joseph's (Maine) 6
RECORDS: Suffolk (20-16, 10-5 GNAC) | Saint Joseph's (Maine) (10-20, 8-7 GNAC)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Suffolk's scoring started right from the get go as Caitlin Murphy opened the action up with a triple before strutting in on Grace Boehler's double to right center. Back-to-back ground outs let Boehler score before Kelly Keane singled and took advantage of an error to move into scoring position. A string of singles ensued with Brooke Cloak, McKenzie McGrath and Sam Jacques all getting in the hit mix. Cloak and Jacques each brought one run in with their base hits to give the blue-and-gold a 4-0 cushion after their first time at the dish.
More scoring game for Suffolk an inning later. With runners on second and third, Ashley Zulla cleared the bags with a two-run single to left before scoring herself on an error by the Monks' first baseman during Jaclyn Flint's at bat to stretch the margin to 7-0.
Saint Joseph's made things interesting in the third with six runs on five hits and a costly Rams' mistake to cut the visitors edge to one, 7-6.
The Rams wasted no time to respond as they put more distance between themselves and the Monks in the top of the fourth. Keane capitalized on the hosts third error of the day to take first and ran in on Cloak's triple to right center. An out later, Cloak read SJC's defense, who went for the force play at first during Jacques at bat, and crossed home on the throw to turn things into a 9-6 Suffolk score.
Hannah DelCervo, who relieved Kennedy Reyes in the middle of the third, handled things from there as the senior twirler put together a trio of three-up, three-down innings to keep the Rams in front by three.
Insurance came for Suffolk in the seventh on the Monks fourth error of the day. Murphy, who led off with a single, used her speed as Boehler barreled a base hit to single. The freshman's quick feet sent her around third to run the 60 feet home and she did just that easily as Ashley Emery's shoot in from center field was off the mark allowing the Ram to score and stretch Suffolk's lead to 10-6.
DelCervo delivered another perfect inning in the seventh to secure the victory.
- DelCervo needed just 48 pitches to pick up the win in 4.1 innings of relief work. The senior RHP retired all 13 batters she faced and fanned one for the winning effort.
- Reyes earned the nod on the rubber and went the first 2.2 frames in which she allowed six runs, five earned, on four
- Kate Whitney suffered the setback after allowing nine runs, four earned, on 16 hits with two punchouts in 4.1 innings of action.
- Caitlin King worked the final 2.2 frames and allowed one run on four hits.
- Boehler had a 4-for-5 showing with one double for one RBI and one run scored.
- Cloak also had a 4-for-5 day at the dish with a triple to go along with a pair of RBI and runs, respectively.
- Zulla brought in three runs on two hits and a sac fly to go along with one run scored.
- Murphy produced 3 hits and scored three times.
- Keane had two hits and two runs scored.
- Flint recorded two hits and one RBI.
- McGrath notched two hits.
- Jacques registered two RBI on one hit.
- Suffolk won its fifth straight game against Saint Joseph's (Maine) to improve to 16-19 all-time versus the Monks.
- The Rams secured a first-round bye in the GNAC playoffs for the fifth straight season.
- Murphy matched a career-high three hits.
- Grace tallied a personal-best four hits.
- Cloak matched a career-high four hits and knocked the first triple of her collegiate career.
- DelCervo improved to 6-7 on the season in the circle.
- Suffolk won its 20th game of the season to mark the sixth consecutive campaign the Rams hit the 20-win mark.
Suffolk concludes the conference regular-season calendar tonight against the Monks.