Barone, Lavallee Shutdown and Shutout Southern Connecticut in Sunday Sweep

GAME ONE BOX SCORE | GAME TWO BOX SCORE

When and Where: April 8, 2018 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Softball Field)
Game One Score: No. 23 Southern New Hampshire University 1, Southern Connecticut State University 0
Game Two Score: No. 23 Southern New Hampshire University 2, Southern Connecticut State University 0
Records: SNHU 24-6 (7-3 Northeast-10 Conference), SCSU 5-17 (3-6 Northeast-10 Conference)

Sophomore Maddy Barone (Halifax, Mass.) allowed just three hits and senior Sarah Lavallee (Candia, N.H.) surrendered just a pair on Sunday, as the 23rd-ranked Southern New Hampshire University softball team rode the righthanders to a pair of shutout victories over Southern Connecticut State University in Northeast-10 Conference action at the SNHU Softball Field. The Penmen took game one, 1-0, before securing the sweep with a 2-0 triumph in game two.

Barone overpowered the Owls in the opener, as she fanned nine and did not walk a batter in her 11thcomplete game of the season. She twice retired at least seven consecutive batters and recorded a stretch of five-straight strikeouts from the first through third inning.

After the Penmen were held in check by Victoria Ceballos through the first two-plus innings, they generated the only offense of the game in the home half of the third. Senior Katie Horiuchi (Livingston, N.J.) led off the frame with a base hit up the middle before swiping second base. A great read on a ground out to short moved up Horiuchi to third, and two batters later, freshman Shay Sauvageau (Griswold, Conn.) smashed a double deep to right to drive in the lone run of the contest.

Barone made the lead hold by retiring 12 of the next 14 batters she faced and not allowing a baserunner to reach second. A day after belting what proved to be the game-winning home run in a doubleheader opener, Sauvageau went right back to work by finishing game one 3-for-3 and plating another winning run.

Game two played out in similar fashion to game one with both sides embroiled in a pitchers' duel. Lavallee held Southern Connecticut in check through the first four innings, as she was perfect through three before working around the only two Owl hits in the fourth. Jazmyn Martinez matched Lavallee through the first three-plus frames until Southern New Hampshire broke through. Senior Brittany Perdigao (Stoughton, Mass.) laced a one-out single down the line in left before moving up on a sacrifice bunt. Junior Erin Garczynski (Norwood, Mass.) roped a single to right, and as the right fielder was charging the ball, she kicked it towards the line and allowed Perdigao to score the game's first run. 

Lavallee submitted a shutdown inning in the fifth, which allowed the Penmen to double their advantage during the bottom of the stanza. Freshman Jackie Gavin (Laconia, N.H.) shot a base hit through the left side that was mishandled by the Southern Connecticut left fielder and allowed her to reach second. Classmate Emily Critch (Halifax, Mass.) stepped in next and dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third base line that was fielded and fired over to first. Gavin next slowed, however, and she rounded third before sprinting to the plate with an insurance run. Lavallee returned to the circle and retired the ensuing six hitters to improve to 11-2 on the year after a two-hit, four strikeout performance. 

Notes:
- The Penmen are back on pace with the 2015 team for the best start in program history. The Southern New Hampshire team of three seasons ago won 32 games before dropping its seventh contest of the season in the NCAA East Regional.
- SNHU is now outscoring its opponents, 137-79, over the course of its first 30 games. The Penmen have a team ERA of just 1.98 and are striking out batters at a rate of nearly four-to-one.
- Barone lowered her earned run average to 1.31, which is second in the Northeast-10 Conference. She is also boasting a strikeouts to walks ratio of 5.91-to-one, and is tied for third in the league in both wins and complete games.

What's Next:
The Penmen will play their fifth and sixth games in three days on Monday (April 9) when they host Saint Anselm College in a Queen City Cup doubleheader at the SNHU Softball Field beginning at 3 p.m.

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