Stonehill Earns Split With Merrimack

Freshman Michelle Carbone went 4-for-9 with a home run and two RBI today as Stonehill salvaged a doubleheader split with Merrimack.

Skyhawks snap seven-game skid with 5-2 victory in game two

EASTON, Mass. (April 22, 2014) – The Stonehill College softball team earned a doubleheader split with Merrimack College today at Gartland Field. Stonehill dropped the opener, a Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division contest, 10-9 in nine innings, before snapping its seven-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory in the nightcap.

Freshman Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, N.Y./St. Anthony's), who was named the NE-10 Rookie of the Week yesterday for the second time this season, keyed Stonehill's offense today with a 4-for-9 effort at the plate, including  a home run and two RBI. Sophomore Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) went 3-for-7 with a walk and a run, while classmate Alison Sumski (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan) was 2-for-8 with a walk, two home runs, and four RBI.

Freshman Cassandra Squeri (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) improved to 6-0 this season with the win in game two, as she went five innings and gave up two runs on three hits. Squeri also struck out nine and walked one before giving way to sophomore Lauren Esposito (Middlefield, Conn./Coginchaug), who earned the save after tossing two hitless frames.

Merrimack was led by sophomore Brittany Razo (Anaheim, Calif./Canyon), who went 4-for-5 in game one, while senior Kelsey Francher (Weare, N.H./John Stark Regional) and redshirt freshman Becca Armstrong (Methuen, Mass./Methuen) each recorded three hits in the opener. Freshman Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass./Winchendon) paced the Warrior offense in game two, as she accounted for two of Merrimack's three hits.

Merrimack 10, Stonehill 9 

Stonehill dropped today's opener despite erasing a four-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning. Morrell and Carbone had two hits apiece for the Skyhawks, while Ruonavaara was 3-for-5 with a run.

After a scoreless first, Merrimack went up 6-0 with three runs in both the second and third innings. Stonehill got one run back in the bottom of the third on a solo home run by sophomore Cayleigh McCarthy (Norfolk, Mass./King Phillip), but the Warriors regained their six-run lead in the fourth on Francher's RBI double.

Stonehill again cut into the Merrimack lead in the fifth inning, this time with two runs, to pull to within 7-3. After a leadoff walk, Sumski belted a two-run shot over the left field fence.

Still trailing 7-3 in the seventh, Stonehill scored four times to tie the contest and send it to extra innings. Morrell led off with a single, and Carbone followed with a two-run homer to make the score 7-5. Later in the inning, McCarthy recorded an RBI groundout, and freshman Taylor Lester (East Northport, N.Y./St. Anthony's) tied the contest with two-out RBI single through the right side of the infield. Sumski came up next with the potential game-winning run at third base, but she grounded out to send the game to an eighth inning.

After neither team scored in the eighth, Merrimack posted its third three-run frame of the contest in the top of the ninth with the help of home runs from seniors Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, Texas/Plano East) and Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass./Bellingham).

Sophomore Alison Sumski went 2-for-8 with two home runs and four RBI today.

Stonehill mounted yet another comeback in the bottom of the ninth, scoring two runs, but Carbone grounded out to end the game with the potential tying run stranded at third.

Stonehill 5, Merrimack 2  

After Merrimack scored ten times on 14 hits in the opener, Squeri and Esposito combined to hold the Warriors to two runs on three hits in game two. Carbone led the offense with a pair of hits, while Sumski, Squeri, and senior Lindsay McKillop (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) had one RBI each.

Stonehill scored single runs in the first, second, and third innings on a wild pitch and solo shots by Squeri and McKillop. The Skyhawks then plated two more runs in the fifth, as Squeri homered to left center before freshman Jacklyn Oleksak (Massapequa, N.Y./Plainedge) scored on another wild pitch.

The Warriors finally broke through with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth on a two-run homer by Tenney, but Esposito got through the rest of the sixth and seventh unscathed.

Stonehill (19-21, 13-11 NE-10) will be on the road tomorrow for a pair of makeup contests at Southern Connecticut State University, before wrapping up its regular season with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday at Gartland Field against Saint Anselm College. Merrimack (18-19, 11-7 NE-10) will be back in action on Friday, as the Warriors are set to host Franklin Pierce University for a doubleheader.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.