STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's (26-4, 19-1 GNAC) swept a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader versus Mount Ida College (16-22, 8-16 GNAC) at Richard W. Bailey Field on Wednesday afternoon. The Monks toppled the Mustangs by a 9-1 margin in a six-inning opener and edged the visitors, 2-1, in the closing contest.
The Mustangs would strike first in the opener, scoring a run off two hits and a walk in the opening inning. Devan Meeker (Bantam, Conn.) worked a free pass to lead off the contest and scored three batters later when Rayelle Pierson (Pittsfield, Mass.) singled, providing the visitors with an early 1-0 advantage.
The Mount Ida edge would hold until the bottom of the third when Emily Leverone (Hampton, N.H.) singled, advanced to second on a misplayed ball in the outfield, and scored via Heather Tripp (Lovell, Maine) base knock, tying the conference contest at one-apiece through three innings.
The hosts proceeded to break the game open by posting four runs off two hits and three Mount Ida errors in the bottom of the fourth frame. Freshman third baseman Kim Jordan (Bangor, Maine) led off the inning and reached on an error by Meeker, the Mustangs' starting pitcher, and scored the go-ahead run when the following hitter, junior right fielder Danyelle Shufelt (Sutton, Vt.), reached via infield single and reached third on another Meeker miscue. Sophomore shortstop Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) provided the knockout blow four batters later when she belted her sixth home run of the year –a three-run blast - extending the SJC lead to 5-1 through five innings of play.
Leverone drove in two runs with a double in the fifth and the Monks secured their 15th mercy-rule victory of the season when senior catcher Maria Labbe (Lewiston, Maine) and Shufelt notched RBI singles in the bottom of the sixth.
St. Joe's starting pitcher Maddie Kluna (Standish, Maine) was again dominant in the circle, as the senior scattered six hits with a run and a walk allowed while fanning seven in six frames of work. Pierson yielded nine runs (seven earned) off 14 hits and five walks in 5.1 innings and suffered the loss for the Mustangs.
Moore paced the SJC offensive attack by going 3-4 with two runs, a double, a homer, and three RBI and Leverone was also 3-4 with a run, a double, and a pair of RBI in the victory. Shufelt reached base four times with two hits and two walks and Kluna was 2-3 with the bat.
Pierson and Kirsten Guerrero (Fairfield, Conn.) both tallied two hits in three at-bats in a losing effort for the Mustangs.
Neither team mustered much offense in the second game of the day, as the conference counterparts combined to score three runs off just nine total hits in a 2-1 Saint Joseph's victory.
The visiting Mustangs punched home a run in the first inning, as Meeker singled, moved up a base on an outfield miscue, scampered to third on a passed ball, and scored when Tiffany Hamann (Newton, Mass.) singled.
The visitors' edge did not last long however, as St. Joe's knotted the tilt when Shufelt led off with a single and later scored on a Leverone double in the bottom of the first.
The same duo came together in the bottom of the third to tally the game-winning run. Shufelt opened the inning with a single, moved up two bases on a passed ball, and scored the Monks' second run of the contest when a ball struck by Leverone was misplayed in the infield.
SJC hurler Kayla Vannah (Waldoboro, Maine) improved to 7-0 on the season after working seven frames of four-hit, one-run ball. The junior fanned four batters and did not allow a walk in the victory. Meeker pitched well for the Mustangs, surrendering two runs (one earned) off five hits while whiffing three, but was hit with the losing decision nonetheless.
Shufelt went 2-3 and scored both of the Monks' runs and Leverone was 2-3 with a double and an RBI in the triumph. Pierson doubled in a losing effort for Mount Ida, which did not feature a repeat-hitter in the nightcap.
With the sweep, Saint Joseph's improves to 11-0 in the history of the series with Mount Ida College. The Monks have now won 17 consecutive contests, with the team's last loss coming at the hands of Emerson College on March 30th.
Saint Joseph's will play at Simmons College on Thursday in a GNAC doubleheader scheduled to begin at 3:00 PM.