STANDISH, Maine – Suffolk University (21-16, 11-5 GNAC) took a pair of games from Saint Joseph's College (10-21, 8-8 GNAC) in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball action at Richard W. Bailey Field on Monday afternoon. The Rams opened with a 10-6 triumph and completed the sweep with an 8-2 nightcap victory.
With all conference games now in the books the GNAC Tournament slate is solidified and Saint Joseph's has earned the #3 seed in the North Division. The Monks will host Norwich University, the #4 seed in the North, in a single-elimination preliminary contest tomorrow at 3:30 PM.
As the #2 seed in the North Division, Suffolk earns a preliminary round bye and will face the Saint Joseph's/Norwich in a second-round matchup at Emmanuel College on Thursday at 4:30 PM.
SUFFOLK 10, SAINT JOSEPH'S 6
The Rams, who pounded out 20 hits in the opener, jetted out to a 7-0 lead in the first two innings. The Monks' bats came to life in the bottom of the third with six runs off five hits and a Suffolk miscue to make it a 7-6 game. Junior third baseman Kaylee Burns (Saco, Maine) knocked out Suffolk freshman starter Kennedy Reyes (Taunton, Mass.) with a three-run double to left-center during the six-run third.
Unfortunately for the hosts, the third inning was the lone frame that yielded a run or a hit, as Rams senior reliever Hannah DelCervo (Meriden, Conn.) effectively closed the door with 4.1 innings of one-hit ball.
IN THE CIRCLE:
- SJC junior starter Kate Whitney (Jonesboro, Maine) falls to 5-10 on the season after allowing nine runs (four earned) off 16 hits with a pair of K's in 4.1 innings
- Junior Caitlyn King (Old Town, Maine) gave up a run off four hits in 2.2 frames of relief
- Suffolk starter Kennedy Reyes did not factor into the decision after yielding six runs (five earned) off four hits and three walks in 2.2 innings
- DelCervo picked up the win and improves to 6-7 on the year after allowing a hit with a strikeout in 4.1 frames; the senior hurler finished the game by retiring 12-consecutive SJC hitters
OFF THE BAT:
- Burns was 1-for-3 with a double and three RBI
- Senior first baseman Melodie Bailey (Lebanon, Maine) went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI
- For Suffolk, sophomore Grace Boehler (East Freetown, Mass.) was 4-for-5 with a run, a double, and an RBI; freshman Brooke Cloak (Mullica Hill, N.J.) went 4-for-5 with two runs, a triple, and two RBI; and junior Ashley Zulla (Columbus, N.J.) was 2-for-4 with a run and three RBI
SUFFOLK 8, SAINT JOSEPH'S 2
The Monks held a 1-0 edge after freshman center fielder Ashley Emery (Madison, Maine) tripled and scored on a Bailey base hit in the bottom of the first.
The Rams countered with a run off a McKenzie McGrath (Exeter, N.H.) sac fly in the top of the second and claimed the lead for good with three runs in the third with the help of a two-run jack over the left field wall by Cloak.
St. Joe's cut the deficit to 4-2 when Bailey plated junior second baseman Libby Pomerleau (Limerick, Maine) with a base hit to center field.
Junior Madisyn Charest (Sidney, Maine) entered the game in the top of the fifth and cruised through two innings of relief before allowing four unearned runs off three hits and two errors in the top of the seventh to account for the 8-2 final score.
IN THE CIRCLE:
- Caitlyn King started game two and falls to 5-10 on the season after giving up four runs (three earned) off four hits with a walk and a strikeout over four innings
- Charest allowed four unearned runs off four hits with a pair of K's in three frames
- Suffolk sophomore starter Constance Phelan (Longwood, Fla.) improves to 5-4 this spring after giving up two runs on nine hits with four punch-outs in a complete-game effort
OFF THE BAT:
- Bailey was 2-for-4 with two RBI
- For the Rams, Zulla went 2-for-4 with two runs, a pair of two-baggers, and two RBI; sophomore Kelly Keane (Hamilton, N.J.) was 2-4 with two runs two doubles, and a pair of RBI; and Cloak added two hits – including the two-run tater – in four at-bats
With the losses Saint Joseph's falls to 19-15 in the history of the series with Suffolk University and has now lost six-consecutive games at the hands of the Rams.
Before the start of the twinbill the Monks held a brief ceremony to honor the program's four seniors: Bailey, Meghan Elliott (Mendon, Mass.), Katie Chadbourne (Jaffrey, N.H.), and Danielle Pinkham (Damariscotta, Maine). The 2019 graduating class has helped the Monks advance to the GNAC Tournament in each of their four seasons.