STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph's (22-4, 15-1 GNAC) won both ends of a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) twinbill with mercy-rule victories over Pine Manor College (4-12, 4-12 GNAC) at Richard W. Bailey Field on Monday afternoon. The Monks opened with a 9-1 triumph and completed the sweep with an 11-1 victory.
The Gators opened the game-scoring with a run off three hits in the top of the first, as Kaylyn Delgado (Worcester, Mass.) plated Macayla Kirylo (Pawtucket, R.I.) with a double to give the visitors a 1-0 edge.
The Monks' deficit did not last long however, as the Royal Blue put a pair of runs on the board to gain a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first. Connie Grovo (Limington, Maine) singled and Emily Leverone (Hampton, N.H.) walked and both runners scored when Heather Tripp (Lovell, Maine) reached on an error by Pine Manor right fielder Natasha Kopystynsky (Johnsburg, Ill.).
Saint Joseph's added two more runs in the bottom of the third when Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) notched an RBI double, scoring Tripp, and scored on a Maria Labbe (Lewiston, Maine) base hit. The Monks went on to put the game out of reach in the bottom of the fourth, scoring five runs off three hits and three Pine Manor errors to secure a 9-1 cushion. Leverone drove in a run with a double and Theresa Hendrix (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) belted a run-scoring triple, her sixth three-bagger of the year, during the five-run frame.
SJC senior starting pitcher Maddie Kluna (Standish, Maine) earned the victory after allowing one run off three hits while fanning five batters in five innings. Pine Manor starter Tia Nelson (Rockport, Mass.) was hit with the loss after yielding nine runs (five earned) off six hits and three walks with four K's in four frames.
St. Joe's wasted little time securing a lead in the nightcap as the Monks scored three runs off four hits to gain an early advantage. Leverone notched an RBI double, Moore plated a run with a single, and Hendrix tripled home a run to make it a 3-0 contest.
The Monks took advantage of two errors to score a pair of runs without posting a hit in the bottom of the third, as Moore and Hendrix crossed the plate to lift the hosts to a 5-0 lead.
Saint Joseph's put forth the knockout blow in the fourth, scoring six runs off two hits and four Pine Manor miscues to secure the mercy-rule triumph. Hendrix, Rae-Marie Copan (Newton, Mass.), and Vanessa Davis (Friendship, Maine) registered an RBI apiece in the six-run fourth.
The Gators tacked on a meaningless run in the fifth when Beth Deegan (Philadelphia, Pa.) singled to left and scored on an error to comprise the 11-1 final.
Copan tossed five innings of two-hit ball with a pair of strikeouts to collect the victory in the circle for the Monks. Nelson surrendered 11 runs (four earned) off seven hits and four walks in four innings of work to take the loss.
For the Monks, Grovo went 2-3 with two runs scored and a pair of doubles, Hendrix was 2-3 with two runs, two RBI and a triple, and Moore scored three runs in the closing contest.
With the sweep Saint Joseph's improves to 10-1 in the history of the series with Pine Manor College. The Monks have now won 13 consecutive games.
Saint Joseph's will play at Rivier College on Friday in a GNAC twinbill slated to begin at 4:00 PM.