Vachon's Walk Off, 10-Run Barrage Propels Softball to 4-0 Start

When and Where: February 17, 2018 – Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Game One: Southern New Hampshire University 1, East Stroudsburg University 0
Game Two: Southern New Hampshire University 10, Clarion University 2 (5 innings)
Records: SNHU 4-0, ESU 1-3, Clarion 0-4

Sophomore Gabriella Vachon (Newton, Mass.) belted a walk-off home run in game one Saturday and the Southern New Hampshire University softball team's offense erupted for 10 runs in the twinbill finale, as the Penmen improved to 4-0 with a doubleheader sweep of East Stroudsburg University and Clarion University. SNHU topped the Warriors 1-0 in the opener before dispatching the Golden Eagles, 10-2, in the finale.

Vachon finished the opener with two hits in three trips Sophomore Maddy Barone (Halifax, Mass.) picked up her first win of the season against East Stroudsburg after firing a complete-game, three-hit shutout that saw her fan five and walk one.

In game one Saturday, Barone held the Warriors hitless through the first 3.1 innings and allowed just one baserunner to advance past second. ESU posed its biggest threat in the top half of the third, when a pair of one out singles were followed by a two-out walk to load the bases. Barone bore down, however, and induced a fly out to escape the jam.

Barone cruised through the ensuing three innings, and the Penmen came up with their second walkoff win in three games. With one away in the home half of the seventh, Vachon crushed a solo homer to send SNHU to its third-straight win.

Game two saw Southern New Hampshire again comeback, as the Penmen overcame a first-inning deficit to improve to 4-0. After Clarion opened up a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first, SNHU responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Senior Brittany Perdigao (Stoughton, Mass.) started the rally with a one-out single before junior Erin Garczynski (Norwood, Mass.) reached on an error. Two batters later, freshman Shay Sauvageau (Griswold, Conn.) smashed a two-run double to put the Penmen in front, 2-1.

After senior Sarah Lavallee (Candia, N.H.) worked a scoreless second, Southern New Hampshire went back to work for three more runs in the home half. Vachon led off with a double before freshman Jackie Gavin (Laconia, N.H.) dropped down a bunt that was thrown away, and allowed both Vachon and Gavin to cross the plate. After sophomore Jordan Wade (East Taunton, Mass.) reached on an error two batters later, Perdigao reached on a bunt single that sent Wade over to third. With runners on the corners, Wade and Perdigao executed a double-steal to extend the lead to 5-1.

The Penmen tacked on an additional run in the fourth before adding three unearned runs in the fifth to make it 9-2. Garczynski ended the contest in the fifth when she delivered a bases loaded single that drove in senior Katie Horiuchi (Livingston, N.J.) with the decisive run.

Lavallee improved to 3-0 on the year after a complete-game effort that saw her fan three and scatter five hits, while Perdigao finished 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored to lead the offense. 

Notes:
- Southern New Hampshire is off to its best start in over a decade at 4-0.
- The Penmen outhit ESU and Clarion, 14-8 in the twinbill. SNHU posted five hits in the walkoff win over the Warriors before racking up nine hits against the Golden Eagles.
- Vachon finished the afternoon with three extra-base hits on two doubles and a homer.

What's Next:
The Penmen are back in action Sunday when they take on Concord University and Lock Haven University at 10 a.m. and noon.

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