STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's (10-4, 5-1 GNAC) split a doubleheader with Emerson College (13-6, 7-1 GNAC), falling 9-0 in the opener before earning a 4-0 win in the nightcap, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball action at Richard W. Bailey Field on Friday afternoon.
The first contest versus the Lions – also the Monks' 2012 home-opener – did not go as planned for the hosts, particularly the third inning when Emerson put up all nine of the team's runs off eight hits en route to earning a mercy-rule victory.
Emerson first baseman Nikki Delaney (San Mateo, Calif.) led off the frame with a solo home run and starting pitcher Kelsey Tuthill (Middlefield, Conn.) plated a run with a bases-loaded single. Sophomore designated hitter Alexandria Magistro (Hackettstown, N.J.) followed with a two-run base knock, senior shortstop Kendal Peiguss (Suquamish, Wash.) added an RBI double, right fielder Alicia Daniele (Mahwah, N.J.) and left fielder Lauren Jacaruso (West Islip, N.Y.) plated runs with RBI singles, and center fielder Brittany Rochford (Irvine, Calif.) capped the inning, and game, scoring with a two-run triple in the nine-run third.
The Monks recorded just two hits, a single by senior center fielder Emily Leverone (Hampton, N.H.) in the bottom of the first and a double by freshman third baseman Kim Jordan (Bangor, Maine) in the bottom of the fifth, in the loss.
Tuthill picked up the victory for the Lions after fanning nine with two hits and three walks allowed in five innings. Sophomore third baseman Bianca Buono (El Cajon, Calif.), who went 2-3 with a run scored for the visitors, was the game's only repeat hitter.
SJC starting pitcher Maddie Kluna (Standish, Maine) suffered the loss after allowing nine runs off nine hits and a pair of walks in three innings. Junior hurler Kayla Vannah (Waldoboro, Maine) was perfect in in two innings of relief and fanned a pair.
With no time to sulk after a hard-luck loss, the Monks quickly went to work with the bats but would not score after loading the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first inning.
Sophomore starting pitcher Rae-Marie Copan (Newton, Mass.) managed to keep the Lions' bats in check over the first three frames, allowing the Monks to secure an early lead with three runs in the bottom of the third. Junior right fielder Danyelle Shufelt (Sutton, Vt.) led off the frame with a single to center and sprinted home when the following batter, sophomore second sacker Connie Grovo (Limington, Maine) drove a double down the left field line. Leverone followed with a two-run tater – which landed on the roof of the shed beyond the left field wall – to lift her team to a 3-0 advantage.
St. Joe's tacked on an insurance run with two out in the bottom of the fourth. With one down, Shufelt slapped a triple to left center and would score two batters later when Leverone slammed a single up the middle.
The Lions would not solve Copan, who worked seven scoreless frames with three hits allowed and three strikeouts in what was the second shutout of her career. Daniele, who allowed three runs off six hits and a walk in 2.2 innings, was hit with the loss while Magistro yielded one run off four hits and fanned three in 3.1 frames of relief for the visitors.
Offensively for the Monks, Shufelt went 2-4 with two runs and a triple, Grovo was 2-4 with a run, a double and an RBI, and Leverone added two hits in three trips with a home run and three RBI.
With the split, Saint Joseph's is now 3-12 in the history of the series with Emerson College. Including the loss in this afternoon's opener, the Monks had fallen at the hands of the Lions in 11 consecutive meetings dating back to the 2008 campaign.
Saint Joseph's will travel to Anna Maria College for a GNAC twinbill slated to start at 1:00 PM on Saturday. Emerson hosts GNAC-rival Pine Manor College in a doubleheader set to start at 6:00 PM on Saturday.