Ropiak Pitches 3-Hit Shutout as Stonehill Splits Twinbill at Bentley

Senior Sarah Ropiak earned her fifth win of the season in Stonehill's win over Bentley in game one.

Senior Sarah Ropiak combines to pitch 12 innings between two games, including a 3-hit shutout in game one

WALTHAM, Mass. (March 30, 2016) – Stonehill College split a pair of contests this afternoon at Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball action at DeFelice Field. Senior Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Massachusetts/Acton-Boxborough) led the Skyhawks to a 1-0 shutout win in game one before the Falcons returned the favor, shutting out Stonehill 3-0 in game two.

Senior Alison Sumski (Amherst, New Hampshire/Souhegan) recorded the biggest hit from both games for the Skyhawks, connecting on a solo homerun in game one to produce the only run of the game. Classmate Emily Padilla (Wappingers Falls, New York/Roy C. Ketcham) and junior Taylor Lester (East Northport, New York/St. Anthony's) each registered two hits to lead Stonehill at the plate.

Ropiak started both games for Stonehill, throwing a three-hit shutout in game one, before going five innings in game two, giving up three runs on six hits.

Bentley was led by sophomore Jordan Ballantyne (Hopewell Junction, New York/Arlington) who went 3-for-5, while junior Kelsey Kennedy (Bedford, New Hampshire/Bedford) finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs in game two.


Stonehill 1, Bentley 0

Game one proved to be a classic pitcher's duel between Ropiak and senior Kelly Ferris (Seymour, Connecticut/Seymour) of Bentley. Both pitchers went the distance, as Ropiak and Ferris combined for 14 innings of one run ball.

Stonehill left a runner on base in each of the first two innings and looked poised to take the lead in the third, when Padilla singled to right field to lead off the inning and Lester singled to center a batter later. After junior Lianna Jordan (Staten Island, New York/St. Joseph By the Sea) reached on a fielder's choice, Ferris worked her way out of the jam to keep Stonehill off the board.

Bentley wasn't as fortunate in the fourth inning as Sumski stepped to the plate and launched her second homerun of the season over the centerfield fence to give the Skyhawks a 1-0 lead. That was all the run support Ropiak needed, as the senior powered through the Bentley lineup, only allowing two hits the rest of the game.


Bentley 3, Stonehill 0

Senior Alison Sumski hit a key solo homerun in game one to account for the only run of the game.

Ropiak also started game two for Stonehill, looking to carry her momentum over from the first game. Junior Kelsey Smith (Jaffrey, New Hampshire/Conant) took the ball for Bentley and stifled the Skyhawks, pitching a complete game shutout.

Game two started much like game one, with Ropiak cruising through the Bentley lineup. Stonehill had an opportunity to score the game's first run in the top of the second when Senior Megan Staudle (New Windsor, New York/Cornwall Central) doubled down the left field line. The Skyhawks were unable to advance Staudle any further as Smith struck out the next batter to end the inning.

Bentley got its offense going in the second inning, as junior Chelsea Vena (Matawan, New Jersey/Saint John Vianney) and Kennedy singled to start the inning. After both runners advanced on a groundout, senior Jill Raia (Montville, New Jersey/Morristown-Beard School) reached on a fielder's choice to score Kennedy and sophomore Stephanie McQuaid (Windham, New Hampshire/Austin Prep) followed up with an RBI single through the left side to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.

Bentley would strike again in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Kennedy doubled to left center field to lead off the inning. She subsequently advanced to third on a wild pitch and sophomore Katie Noons (North Dighton, Massachusetts/Dighton-Rehoboth) singled to score Kennedy and chase Ropiak out of the game. Junior Cassandra Squeri (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) came in for Ropiak and pitched a perfect inning in relief.

Smith was able to keep her shutout intact as she worked around a two out single by Ropiak in the seventh to pick up her fourth win of the season and move to 4-0 on the year.

Stonehill (10-11, 6-3 NE-10) returns home tomorrow to host Saint Anselm College in a divisional game at Gartland Field. Bentley (7-10, 5-2 NE-10) will also be in action Saturday as they host the University of New Haven for a doubleheader starting at noon.

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