When and Where: March 26, 2018 – North Andover, Mass. (Martone-Mejail Field)
Score: No. 19 Southern New Hampshire University 1, Saint Michael's College 0
Records: SNHU 18-3 (3-0 Northeast-10), SMC 4-11 (1-4 Northeast-10)
Sophomore Maddy Barone (Halifax, Mass.) fired a complete-game shutout and junior Erin Garczynski (Norwood, Mass.) drove in the lone run of the game on Monday, as the 19th-ranked Southern New Hampshire University softball team edged Saint Michael's College, 1-0.
Barone turned in her seventh complete-game effort of the season and fifth shutout, as she fanned seven and scattered three hits on the afternoon. On a day where offense was at a premium, Garczynski finished 3-for-3 with an RBI while senior Brittany Perdigao (Stoughton, Mass.) and freshman Jackie Gavin (Laconia, N.H.) each added a hit in the triumph.
After Barone worked through the first 2.2 innings with relative ease, the Purple Knights posed their first threat of the day with two away in the third as Hayley Craddock connected on a triple to straightaway centerfield. The ensuing batter stepped in and smacked a groundball to short, where Perdigao dove to knock it down before she jumped to her feet and fired a strike across the diamond to retire the side.
The play would prove pivotal, as Southern New Hampshire pushed across the lone run of the day in the home half of the frame. Sophomore Jordan Wade (East Taunton, Mass.) was hit by a pitch with two away before Perdigao legged out an infield single. Garczynski stepped in next and laced a base hit into left that plated Wade to make it 1-0.
Saint Michael's would not go quietly, however, as the Purple Knights advanced runners to third base with less than two outs in each of the next two innings. Fallon Tierney struck out to lead off the fourth, but advanced to first on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Danielle Markowski singled to put runners on the corner with one away. After a strikeout and hit batter loaded the bases with two outs for the Purple Knights, Barone was able to retire the final batter of the inning on a foul pop out to third.
The Penmen came up clutch in the fifth to maintain the one-run edge, as it turned an inning-ending double play to cut down the tying run at the plate. After Hannah St. Don reached second on a dropped pop up to lead off the frame, she moved up to third on a fly out to center. Chandler Wilder followed with a ground ball to Perdigao, and as she threw the ball across the diamond to retire Wilder, St. Don broke for the plate. Wade completed the putout at first before firing a strike to freshman Emily Critch (Halifax, Mass.), who applied the tag to end the inning as well as the threat.
- Southern New Hampshire extends its best start in program history to 18-3. The Penmen have outscored their opponents by a 104-59 margin and have a team earned run average of 1.92.
- Barone's seventh complete-game of the season matches her total from a season ago. She improved to 8-1 on the season and needs just one more victory to equal her win output from 2017.
- Garczynski has hit safely in four of her last six games with multi-hit efforts in three contests.
- Perdigao has now reached safely in 18-of-21 games this season and has at least one base hit in 17 of those outings.
Southern New Hampshire is slated to resume its schedule Thursday when it will make the trip to Post University for a non-conference twinbill at 1 p.m.
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