When and Where: April 28, 2017 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Softball Field)
Game One Score: Southern New Hampshire University 4, Assumption College 0
Game Two Score: Southern New Hampshire University 15, Assumption College 0
Records: SNHU 24-17 (10-11 Northeast-10), Assumption 17-16 (13-8 Northeast-10)
Senior Nicole Gubellini (Salem, N.H.) and junior Sarah Lavallee (Candia, N.H.) each fired complete-game shutouts, and the Southern New Hampshire University softball team totaled 19 runs Friday to sweep Assumption College in a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader at the SNHU Softball Field. The Penmen took game one, 4-0, before racing past the Greyhounds, 15-0, in the finale.
Gubellini earned the victory in the opener after going seven innings, striking out seven and scattering five hits. Lavallee took the ball in game two and dealt five innings of five-hit softball with a strikeout and a free pass.
Sophomore Erin Garczynski (Norwood, Mass.) led the SNHU offense with a 4-for-6 afternoon that included a double, three RBI and two runs scored. Lavallee also went 4-for-6 in the twinbill with a double and two runs scored, while freshman Gabriella Vachon (Newton, Mass.) finished 2-for-3 in game two with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.
After Gubellini breezed through the first, she received all the offense she would need in the home half of the frame. Junior Katie Horiuchi (Livingston, N.J.) reached on an infield single with one away before Garczynski worked a one-out walk. Lavallee followed with a base hit to load the bases for senior Jessica Torsiello (Morris Plains, N.J.), and she delivered a two-run single to put Southern New Hampshire ahead, 2-0. After both Lavallee and Torsiello moved up to second and third on a foul fly out, senior Devan Rabidou (Ashland, Mass.) laced a two-out double to the left centerfield gap to drive in the final two runs of the game.
Gubellini breezed through the remainder of the game, as she allowed just two baserunners to advance past first and registered at least one strikeout in each of the final six innings.
Game two was scoreless through the first inning and a half before Southern New Hampshire exploded for 10 runs in the bottom of the second. Lavallee drew a walk to lead off the frame before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Torsiello. Freshman Hannah Neverett (Nashua, N.H.) drilled a double to the gap to plate Lavallee with the game's first run, and she moved up to third on an infield single by Rabidou. Morrissey lined an RBI single back through the box to extend the Penmen advantage to a pair before a single and a wild pitch allowed Rabidou to score. Junior Brittany Perdigao (Stoughton, Mass.) fouled off four consecutive two-strike pitches in the next at-bat before lining a single to left that drove in Morrissey and pushed the hosts in front, 4-0.
Assumption would go to its bullpen, and after a walk to Horiuchi loaded the bases, another wild pitch let Vachon scamper in with the game's fifth run. Garczynski smacked a two-run single, and after advancing to second on the throw to the plate, came in to score two batters later on a Greyhounds' error. Neverett's second knock of the inning left runners on the corners, and the third wild pitch of the frame brought in the ninth run of the inning. Two batters later, a mishandled ball off the bat of Vachon let the 10th run score.
The score remained unchanged into the home half of the fourth, when Southern New Hampshire tacked on an additional five runs. Walks to Neverett and Morrissey put two on with one out for Vachon, and she hammered an RBI double off the wall in center to make it 11-0. Junior Kailey March (East Taunton, Mass.) stepped in next and lined a two-run triple to the corner in right, and she crossed home two batters later on an RBI single by Garczynski. Lavallee followed with a single of her own, and a wild pitch and an error allowed for the final run of the ballgame to come in.
Neverett finished 2-for-3 in game two with an RBI and three runs scored, while Morrissey was 2-for-2 in the finale with an RBI, two runs scored and a walk.
- Southern New Hampshire has now won eight of its last 10 games, and during that stretch, the Penmen have outscored their opposition, 73-27. The Penmen have also played themselves into sole possession of fourth and final playoff spot in the Northeast Division. An SNHU win or a Saint Michael's College loss would clinch a postseason berth.
- The Penmen outhit the Greyhounds, 21-13, during the twinbill and capitalized on three Assumption errors and four wild pitches.
- Garczynski sits third in the Northeast-10 in runs batted in (36), and ranks in the top-five in hits (56, second), home runs (6, fifth) and total bases (83, second). Her .424 batting average is good enough for third in the league, while her .629 slugging percentage is the third-highest in the conference.
Southern New Hampshire closes out its three-game series with Assumption on Saturday when it hosts the Greyhounds at noon. The game will be preceded by a ceremony to honor the Penmen's four graduating student-athletes.
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