STANDISH, ME – Senior shortstop Liddy van der Linden (Worcester, MA) hit a two-run home run with two out in the bottom of the sixth of the nightcap contest to help Saint Joseph’s (23-5, 16-0 GNAC) sweep a conference doubleheader against Saint Joseph (Conn.). The Monks won the opener, 8-3, and the 3-1 win in the closing contest extended the team’s winning streak to 19 games, which is a new program record.
Saint Joseph’s has not lost a game since dropping three straight in a four-game marathon in Fort Myers on March 13th, which was the team’s last day in the sunshine state. After defeating Polytechnic (NY), 4-3, in their final game that day, the Monks headed north with a 5-5 record and haven’t dropped a game since. The Royal Blue won 18 straight during the 1990 campaign under the guidance of Saint Joseph’s Hall of Fame Head Coach Dick Bailey.
For the day, Alyssa Dunn ’11 (Standish, ME) was 4-7 with two runs and a double and van der Linden went 4-7 with two runs, three RBI and the aforementioned tater, which was her seventh of the year.
The Monks took control early in the opener, as the Royal Blue tallied five runs off six hits in the bottom of the second frame. van der Linden and Dunn smacked back to back singles and Jillian Kimball ’10 (Albany Township, ME) walked to load the bases for Maria Labbe ’12 (Lewiston, ME), who plated a pair with a double to left-center. Anna Willis ’10 (Gorham, ME) knocked a run home with an infield single and Emily Leverone ’12 (Hampton, NH) drove home two with a bases-loaded single to close out the Monks’ scoring during the frame.
St. Joe’s added two more in their next turn and held a 7-0 advantage after three innings. Dunn kicked off the inning with a single and later scored on an infield error and Heather Tripp ’13 (Lovell, ME) notched an RBI double, scoring Ellen Neff ’11 (Chester, VT).
The Blue Jays scored three runs in the top of the fourth to make it a four-run contest, as Nicole Williams ’12 (Middletown, CT) registered an RBI single and Susan Waters ’11 (Wrentham, MA) stroked a two-run double to cut the Monks’ lead to 7-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, Willis scored on a van der Linden base knock to center to cap the game scoring with the Monks earning the 8-3 win.
SJC starter Kiera Walsh ’11 (Benton, ME) scattered seven hits with one earned run, two walks and four K’s in the complete-game victory and improves to 7-2 on the season. Blue Jays pitcher Kristin Parente ’11 (Burlington, CT) took the loss after allowing five earned runs and 11 hits with two strikeouts and a walk in six innings in the circle.
For the Monks, van der Linden went 3-4 with a run and an RBI, Willis was 2-4 with two runs and an RBI, and Dunn went 2-4 with two runs scored. Labbe registered two RBI and Neff scored two runs in the triumph.
For the Blue Jays, Waters was 3-4 with two RBI in the losing effort.
The closing contest proved to be an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, as the conference rivals combined to notch one run and six hits in five and half innings of play.
The SJC bats went cold in the second game after belting 11 hits in the opener. An infield single by Dunn in the second inning was the only hit the Monks could muster off Parente, who tossed all 12 innings for the visitors, in the first three innings.
The Blue Jays took the first, and only, lead of the day with a single run in the top of the fourth frame. Jacqueline Peck ’10 (Montville, CT) notched a one-out single, moved up to third on a two-bagger by Bryanna Durant ’13 (Middletown, CT), and scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of April Campanella ’11 (Berlin, CT) to give the hosts a 1-0 edge through three and half innings of play.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Willis reached with an infield single and moved to second on a sac bunt by Danyelle Shufelt ’13 (Sutton, VT). The tying run was 60 feet away after Parente unleashed a wild pitch and Willis moved up to third. With two out, Leverone tied the game with a single to left and the next batter, van der Linden, provided the Monks with the lead, and a little breathing room, with a two-run jack.
Madylan Kluna ’12 (Standish, ME), who entered the game in relief of starter Christy Wezowicz ’10 (Granville, MA) with one out in the sixth inning, retired the side in order in the seventh, with two strikeouts, to preserve the Saint Joseph’s victory.
Leverone was the only multiple hitter of the game and went 2-3 with a run and an RBI in the win. Wezowicz allowed three hits and an earned run with five K’s and no walks in 5.1 innings and Kluna, who was credited with the victory and is now 7-1 on the season, did not yield a hit and fanned a pair in 1.2 innings of work.
Parente allowed three earned runs on eight hits with three punch outs in six innings for the Blue Jays.
St. Joe’s will play at Simmons College on Monday afternoon in a conference doubleheader beginning at 3:00 PM. The two-game set was originally scheduled to be played on Friday, but was postponed due to rain.
Saint Joseph (Conn.) play at Pine Manor College on Tuesday in a GNAC twinbill slated to begin at 3:30 PM.