Errors Prove Costly in Softball Home Opener Doubleheader

Lexi Garcia (Photo Courtesy of Bryce Johnson)
Lexi Garcia (Photo Courtesy of Bryce Johnson)

RINDGE, N.H. (April 3, 2019) – After 20 games away from campus, the Franklin Pierce University softball program returned home to the friendly confines of the Bisaccia Softball Complex and suffered two defeats to Northeast-10 Conference northeast division opponent Saint Anselm College Wednesday afternoon on a sunny but windy day. With the victories, the Hawks soar to 17-7, 5-1 NE10 and the losses dropped the Crimson and Grey to 5-17, 1-7 NE10.

Franklin Pierce made five errors in the first game falling to their counterparts by an 8-1 margin. They held a 3-1 lead heading into the top of the sixth before the Hawks battled back to take a 4-3 lead. The Ravens were one out away from getting out of a jam, but an error kept the game going and led to three more runs to come home as they lost the nightcap 7-3.

Raven freshman catcher Allie Martinez (Upland, Calif.) excelled from the top two spots in the lineup going a combined 3-for-8 with two doubles and one run scored.

Game One: Hawks 8, Ravens 1 (Final)

Upperclassman Amelia Mamone (Averill Park, N.Y.) earned the game one start and the left-hander hurled five innings allowing five runs – one earned while striking out three batters. Senior Sabrina LoMonaco (Franklin, Mass.) came on in relief and threw two innings amassing one punch out and three earned runs.

At the dish, Pierce was led by a duo of two-hit performances in the top of the order. Leadoff catcher Martinez went 2-for-4 with two extra-base hits. Sophomore second baseman Jess Rego (Richmond, R.I.) followed Martinez with a 2-for-4, one RBI and stolen base effort.

Morgan Perry was untouchable for the Hawks as she tallied a complete game, one run, six-hit effort with nine strikeouts to move to 8-5 on the campaign. Shortstop Jordan O'Connor carried the Saint Anselm offense with three doubles, one RBI and two runs scored.

The Hawks began the contest when second baseman Shannon Colson singled up the middle. With the count at 1-1 Colson attempted a theft of second but was gunned down by Martinez for the first out of the inning. Mamone then sent Kat Stackrow down swinging for the second out and induced a grounder to third to end the threat.

FPU tried to crack the scoring column in the home half of the first when Rego singled out to no man's land behind the circle. She immediately stole second base with Cat Simmons (Pine Plains, N.Y.) at bat, however, the Ravens could not bring her in.

SAC jumped ahead 3-0 thanks to three runs off two Raven miscues. O'Connor began the frame pulling a two-bagger down the left field line. First baseman Abbie Murrell then lofted a fly to center field which was dropped and she moved to second with O'Connor scoring the first run of the game. Left fielder Maggie Murphy tried to sacrifice her teammate to third, but ended up reaching first via the bunt hit. Murphy stole second with Erin Thompson taking hacks. Mamone got Thompson to ground out weakly and she sent down Perry by strikeout for the first two outs. Mamone looked like she got out of the inning allowing the only run until the Raven first baseman dropped a sure 5-3 put out which brought in two more runs as Pierce fell behind 3-0.  

Perry got the first out in the bottom of the third then allowed a first-pitch double smoked off the bat of Martinez off the left-center field wall. Perry immediately struck out Rego and received a ground out to short stranding a runner in scoring position.

In the top of the fifth, SAC manufactured two insurance markers to lead 5-0. A Washburn single and another O'Connor double with one out had runners at second and third. Murrell lofted a sacrifice fly to left that brought home a run. Murphy singled to first base and O'Connor advanced to third. Thompson dug into the box and the Ravens attempted a throw down to third base after a pitch, but the throw was wild, went down the left field line and let O'Connor score.

Some two-out hitting in the home half of the fifth, a Martinez opposite way double that she clanged off the fence led to a Rego single up the middle just out of the diving reach of a Hawk to drive in Martinez for the lone Raven run.

Three more Hawk runs in the top of the sixth, an RBI single, an RBI groundout and a double to center put the wraps on the game.

Game Two: Hawks 7, Ravens 3 (Final)

Sophomore right-hander Cyrena Zemaitis (Goshen, Conn.) took the circle for game two and struck out nine Hawks allowing seven runs – three earned off 10 hits. Freshman first baseman Lexi Garcia (Sylmar, Calif.) was 2-for-3 with a double and a team-high two RBI. Classmate Maiah Lopez (Oxnard, Calif.) tallied two hits of her own with one run scored. Simmons chipped in a double and RBI while right fielder Caitlyn Munzing (Beverly, Mass.) had a two-bagger as well.

Courtney Fisher started in the circle for Saint Anselm and lasted only four frames scattering eight hits and three earned runs. McKenna Smith came on in relief and was dominant getting six of her nine outs by the way of the K collecting her fourth win of the season. Leadoff second baseman Shannon Colson went 3-for-4 with a steal and two runs scored. Catcher Lauren Washburn belted the big blow, a bases-clearing double.

The Ravens almost drew first blood in the bottom of the first. Lopez and Martinez roped back to back singles to right field before Simmons reached first via fielder's choice and an out. Ashley Conway (Salem, N.H.) followed with a back-to-back fielder's choice and sophomore center fielder Gina Hinckley (Lancaster, Mass.) slapped a single down the right-field line which looked to give the Ravens a run until Simmons was gunned down at the plate for the final out.

In the top half of the second, third baseman Maddison Leite smoked a two-out double that bounced off the center field wall. With the pressure mounting, Zemaitis sent down Thompson looking on three pitches for the third and final out of the frame.

FPU cracked the scoring column first in the bottom of the second. Rego worked a leadoff walk and moved to second off a 5-3 putout. Garcia immediately lined a double into left field scoring the run from second giving the Ravens the 1-0 advantage.

Saint Anselm deadlocked the score 1-1 when the Raven left fielder dropped a fly ball with two away extending the inning for O'Connor who singled to left to drive in Colson. Zemaitis struck out Murrell to conclude the inning.

The Ravens regained the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth as they put runners at second and third with one down via a Rego single and Munzing's double to right. Garcia dropped a bloop single into left-center that plated Rego, but Garcia was thrown out a second. FPU tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth as Simmons lined an opposite-field double into the right-center field gap that scored a runner from first. The Ravens held a 3-1 edge after five frames.

The Hawks stormed back to take the lead in the top of the sixth, an O'Connor two-bagger coupled with Murrell's first career homer to center, which banged off the top of the fence and jumped out of the field brought the game even 3-3. Two straight singles and a Thompson sac fly to left pushed SAC back ahead 4-3. The bases were loaded following an error by the Raven shortstop and Zemaitis sent Kat Stackrow back to the dugout swinging. Lauren Washburn capped off the twinbill sweep with a bases-clearing three-RBI double to complete the comeback.

The Ravens are back in action on Saturday when they welcome Adelphi University to campus for a 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. doubleheader.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce softball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://fpuravens.com). You can also follow the softball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPUSoftball_) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpu_ravens_softball).