STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College (15-16, 11-9 GNAC) split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball doubleheader with University of Saint Joseph (21-16, 13-9 GNAC) at Richard W. Bailey Field on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Jays won the opener, 5-2, and the Monks salvaged the split with a 5-4 win in the nightcap.
GAME ONE – University of Saint Joseph 5, Saint Joseph's 2:
Sophomore pitcher Amaria Sharon (Tolland, Conn.) led off the game with a triple to center and immediately scored on a passed ball to lift the Blue Jays to an early edge.
USJ added three runs off five hits in the top of the second, when freshman Amanda Thiel (Torrington, Conn.) doubled home a pair and later scored on a Sharon single to right field, making it a 4-0 game.
SJC junior pitcher Kristal Smith (Pittston, Maine) broke up Sharon's no-hit bid when she singled to left field with two out in the bottom of the fifth.
The Monks cut their deficit to 4-2 with two runs off four hits in the sixth, when junior shortstop Meghan Elliott (Mendon, Mass.) knocked in a run on a fielder's choice and later scored on a Kaylee Burns (Saco, Maine) single to center.
The Blue Jays capped the game scoring in the top of the seventh, when Sharon singled, stole second, and later scored on a McKenna Driscoll (Bristol, Conn.) base hit.
IN THE CIRCLE:
- Smith falls to 7-9 on the season after allowing five runs (four earned) off 13 hits with two K's over seven innings
- Sharon earned the victory after yielding two runs on five hits with four punch-outs in seven frames
OFF THE BAT:
- Sharon was 3-4 with a triple, two runs, a pair of steals, and an RBI
- Junior Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) went 3-4
GAME TWO: Saint Joseph's 5, University of Saint Joseph 4:
The Monks faced an early deficit yet again in the nightcap, as Sharon led off with an infield single and scored when Driscoll doubled in the top of the first.
The hosts claimed the lead – for good, as it played out – with two runs off two hits I nthe bottom of the second. Junior first baseman Melodie Bailey (Lebanon, Maine) reached on an error in the outfield and scored two batters later when sophomore Maizie Lee(Saco, Maine) tripled off the left field wall. Lee later scored on a single off the bat of freshman center fielder Madeline Wood (Madison, Maine) to put the Monks on top, 2-1.
Saint Joseph's tacked on three runs in the bottom of the third, when Bailey plated sophomore second baseman Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine), Burns knocked in junior right fielder Katie Chadbourne (Jaffrey, N.H.) with a single, and Lee delivered Bailey with a base hit.
The Blue Jays cut into their deficit with a run in the fourth, when Russo scored on a Thiel sac fly, and scored twice in the top of the seventh, but sophomore Caitlyn King (Old Town, Maine) closed the door, forcing the visitors to strand a pair of runners in scoring position with two harmless ground outs.
IN THE CIRCLE:
- Sophomore starter Kate Whitney (Jonesboro, Maine) earned the victory after allowing four runs off 11 hits with three strikeouts in 6.1 innings
- King collected her second save of the season after allowing a hit in 0.2 innings
- USJ freshman starter Alessandra Milardo (Plantsville, Conn.) took the loss after yielding five runs (three earned) off nine hits while fanning three batters in six innings
OFF THE BAT:
- Bailey went 2-3 with two runs, a double, a triple, and an RBI
- Lee was 2-3 with a run, a triple, and a pair of RBI
- Sophomore Madisyn Charest (Sidney, Maine) went 2-3 with a pair of singles
- For the Blue Jays, Sharon was 3-4 with two runs and a double while Cinthia Vega (Waterbury, Conn.), Driscoll, Russo, and freshman Michelle Woodruff (Southington, Conn.) added two hits apiece
With the split, Saint Joseph's is now 14-9 in the history of the series with University of Saint Joseph.
Prior to the start of the first game the Monks held a brief ceremony to honor the team's two seniors: Casidee Couture (Jay, Maine) and Katherine Collette (Rumford, Maine). This pair of four-year players has helped Saint Joseph's post an 86-65 overall record, including a 57-29 mark versus GNAC foes, during their time on the diamond.
Saint Joseph's will play two games at Albertus Magnus College tomorrow. The first GNAC tilt is slated to begin at 11:00 AM.