STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's (14-6, 5-3 GNAC) defeated Emmanuel College (6-14, 2-8 GNAC), 7-2 and 11-0, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) twinbill at Ward Park on Friday afternoon. Connie Grovo '14 (Limington, ME) and Emily Leverone '11 (Hampton, NH) registered four hits apiece in the conference sweep.
The Saints secured the first lead of the day with two runs off a two-run double hit by freshman shortstop Sierra Roccaro (Parlin, NJ). The advantage would be the visitor's only edge of the afternoon, however, as the Monks responded with a three-spot in the bottom of the frame to take a 3-2 lead. Grovo, Leverone and Alyssa Dunn '11 (Standish, ME) all slapped RBI singles to lift the Royal Blue to the one-run cushion.
St. Joe's went on to plate four runs in the bottom of the fourth to cap the scoring in the opener. Lindsay Moore '14 (Barrington, NH) reached on an infield single and later scored on a groundout by Danyelle Shufelt '13 (Sutton, VT) and Maria Labbe '12 (Lewiston, ME) scampered home on a wild pitch. Leverone sent Katelyn Call '12 (Portland, ME/McAuley) across the plate with a double to deep center to extend the Monks' lead to 7-2.
After a rocky third frame, SJC starter Maddie Kluna '12 (Standish, ME) was on cruise control and retired 11 of the 12 batters she faced over the final four innings. The junior hurler allowed two runs on five hits and fanned five in the complete game effort and improves to 6-2 on the year with the winning decision.
Saints starting pitcher Kelly Lloid '13 (Issaquah, WA) took the loss after yielding seven runs (five earned) off eight hits and a walk while fanning a pair in five innings of work. With the bat, she was the visitors' lone repeat hitter with a 2-3 effort and a run scored.
The Monks left little doubt as to which team would win the nightcap by scoring four runs in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth en route to the team's fourth mercy-rule victory of the 2011 campaign.
The SJC sticks registered 11 hits and the Monks left just three runners on base in the closing contest, but perhaps the most impressive performance was posted by starting pitcher Kiera Walsh '11 (Benton, ME). The senior hurler allowed just two hits with a walk and a strikeout in five innings to improve to 6-1 on the year.
With the victory, Walsh, 40-17 in her career, became the fourth member of the Monks' 40-win club. She joins Kelley Murphy '97, Dani Waterman '94 and Sarah Webster '02 in the exclusive group.
For the Monks, Grovo was 3-3 with a run and an RBI, Dunn went 2-3 with three runs and a double, and Cynthia Wescott '12 (Westbrook, ME) was 2-3 with a run and three RBI. Moore scored three runs and Natasha Howard '11 (Farmington, ME) plated a pair in the lopsided win.
Emmanuel starter Kathryn Copp '12 (Fremont, NH) suffered the loss after allowing 11 runs (six earned) off 12 hits and a walk in four innings.
Saint Joseph's will host Rivier College on Saturday in a conference doubleheader slated to begin at 1:00 PM. Prior to the opener the softball program will hold a field dedication ceremony in honor of former Head Coach Dick Bailey – now an assistant on staff. Festivities are slated to begin at 10:00 AM.