NEWTON, Mass. (4/28/17) – The Lasell softball team swept its first Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader on Friday afternoon against Anna Maria College on Taylor Field.
Game One – Lasell: 3 Anna Maria: 2
Ashley Gatchell (Franklin, Mass.) walked the Lasers off to a 3-2 win on a fielder's choice, scoring Mazie Baldarelli for the win. Senior Erin Smith and freshman Essie Plouffe both went 2-for-3 from the plate, each hitting into at least one double, with Smith roping two. Smith and Arianna Genovese (Rocky Hill, Conn.) knocked a run in to round off Lasell's six-hit attack.
Anna Maria scattered five hits across seven innings, led by Victoria Falco (Marlborough, Mass.) and Jacqueline Lapierre (Worcester, Mass.), who each had an RBI single.
Freshman pitcher Nicole Arcese (Holliston, Mass.) retired the AMCATS in order in the first, second, and third innings, before the Lasers got on board in the back half of the third. Gatchell reached second base on an AMCAT miscue, scoring on the next play, a double to left from Smith. A groundout to short from Victoria Spellman (Rocky Hill, Conn.) advanced Smith to third, before the senior scored on a Genovese base knock to left, to give the Lasers a 2-0 lead.
Anna Maria cut the score in half in the fourth, as Amanda Lemire swung into a leadoff single and reached second on a sacrifice bunt from Sarah Coley. Falco's deep single to right sent Lemire to the races, scoring on the play for the 2-1 count. The AMCATS evened things up in their next at bats, as Danielle Huston worked a leadoff walk, reached second on a passed ball, and set herself in scoring position on a bunt by Sarah Bialkowski (Glastonbury, Conn). With one down, Lapierre stepped up to the plate and swung into the equalizer run on an RBI single to right, for the 2-2 score.
Strong pitching from Arcese and Alexis Romano (Lowell, Mass.) retired the batters in order in the sixth, before Arcese kept the AMCATS at bay, yielding just one hit in the seventh, as the Lasers set up for an eventual walk-off win - their second of the season. Plouffe's leadoff double gave Lasell early hope for victory, as Baldareli's speed was subbed in for base running. Baldarelli was put in scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Griffin Cihak (Rocky Hill, Conn.), before Gatchell came in clutch with the walkoff ribbie.
Arcese had a tremendous showing on the hill for the Lasers, fanning a career-high eight batters, walking just two with a single earned run. Romano's overall record drops to 1-12, as the senior scattered six hits with three runs (two earned)
Game Two – Lasell: 11 Anna Maria: 2 (5 Innings)
The Lasers crushed 14 hits in the shortened nightcap, their third highest count of the season and best performance at the plate since a 17-hit outing on March 16. All but two batters in the starting lineup recorded at least one base hit, while Genovese, Krystel Enko (Haydenville, Mass.), and Sarah Kline (Vernon, Conn.) each roped an RBI double as the Lasers' extra base hitters. The home team batted 10 of 11 runs in, via Arcese (2), Genovese (2), Kline (2), Smith, Spellman, Plouffe, and Enko.
The AMCATS pushed two runs across on five hits, as Kaitlyn Moran batted .500 on a 2-for-2 showing.
As the scoreboard read 1-1 after 1 ½ innings, the AMCATS' run was bookended by a four and six run inning from the Lasers, respectively, to grant the home team a commanding 10-1 lead after three. Lasell ran with momentum after Gatchell, Enko, Smith, and Spellman crossed home in the fourth, as Enko then retired the side to set Lasell up for yet another powerful half inning.
The AMCATS rallied in their last chances at the plate, as Coley worked a walk to juice the bases with Lapierre and Kathryn Rendock (Windsor, Conn.). Mackenzie Shurtleff (Wareham, Mass.) batted a run in on a bases-loaded walk, before Enko threw out the lead runner at home to preserve the nine-run lead. A final fly out to Arcese sealed the sweep for the Lasers, leaving all AMCATS on base.
Enko fanned four batters on 53 strikes tossed, allowing just two runs to cross with three walks. Romano took her second loss of the day on six earned runs through 2.1 innings, before Rendock took over for a four-run, five-hit showing, with two strikeouts.
The Lasers return to conference action tomorrow in Standish, Maine for a twinbill against the Monks of St. Joseph's at 12:00 p.m. The AMCATS are on the road the same day, as they take on the Suffolk Rams in East Boston.