STANDISH, Maine - #3 Suffolk University (27-15) posted a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Softball Tournament victories at Richard W. Bailey Field on Thursday afternoon. The Rams defeated #6 Norwich University (15-20-1), 4-0, in the 3:00 PM game and topped #2 Saint Joseph's College (21-16), 5-2, in the second contest.
With the victories, Suffolk advances to play top-seeded Johnson & Wales University in a winner's bracket game Saturday at 3:00 PM. With the setbacks, Saint Joseph's and Norwich enter the losers' bracket with elimination games to follow Saturday, when Cadets take on Albertus Magnus College at 10:00 AM and the Monks face Simmons College at 12:30 PM. All remaining GNAC tourney games will be played at Johnson & Wales.
GAME 2 – SUFFOLK 5, SAINT JOSEPH'S 2
Suffolk grabbed an early lead in their second contest of the day, as sophomore Jill Pulek (Cheshire, Conn.) doubled home Flint in the top of the first.
The 1-1 tie remained until the top of the sixth, when senior first baseman Lindsay Pagano (Wyckoff, N.J.) strode to the plate with the bases loaded and launched a Kristal Smith (Pittston, Maine) offering over the left field wall for a grand slam.
Trailing 5-1, St. Joe's managed to get a run back in the bottom of the sixth when Smith plated pinch runner Joelle Casey (Kittery, Maine) with a single up the middle. The Monks stranded a pair of baserunners in the sixth and had the bases loaded in the seventh, but could not capitalize.
SJC senior starter Kylie McFadden (Dover, N.H.) falls to 10-7 after allowing three runs off six hits and two walks with a pair of K's in 5.1 innings. Suffolk junior Taylor Holmes (Ashford, Conn.) improves to 12-7 on the year after yielding two runs off seven hits off four walks with three punch-outs in 6.2 innings. Yamakaitis recorded the final out to pick up her first save of the season.
GAME 1 – SUFFOLK 4, NORWICH 0
Mired in a scoreless stalemate going into the bottom of the third, the Rams plated a pair when junior catcher Delaney Sylvester (Worcester, Mass.) knocked in Jaclyn Flint (Medfield, Mass.) and Sydney Littlefield (Methuen, Mass.) with a single to right field. Flint made it a 4-0 game with a two-run single of her own in the bottom of the fourth.
Suffolk junior starting pitcher Ali Yamakaitis (Avenel, N.J.) spun a gem, scattering three hits with four walks and five strikeouts in a complete-game effort. She improves to 10-8 on the year with the triumph.
Norwich sophomore starter Rachel Johnson (Stockbridge, Vt.) falls to 10-8 on the season after allowing four runs on five hits and five walks with four punch-outs in six frames.
Flint was the lone repeat-hitter for either team after going 2-4 with a run and a pair of RBI.
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.