Softball Uses Long Ball to Sweep Season Series with Bentley

GAME ONE BOX SCORE | GAME TWO BOX SCORE

When and Where: April 14, 2018 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Softball Field)
Game One Score: Southern New Hampshire University 3, Bentley University 1
Game Two Score: Southern New Hampshire University 6, Bentley University 4
Records: SNHU 28-8 (11-5 NE10, 6-4 NE10 Northeast); Bentley 9-22 (6-12 NE10, 4-6 NE10 Northeast)

Freshman Emily Critch (Halifax, Mass.) delivered a walk-off home run in game one on Saturday before junior Erin Garczynski (Norwood, Mass.) and senior Sarah Lavallee (Candia, N.H.) each went deep in game two, as the Southern New Hampshire University softball team took two games from Bentley University to complete the season-series sweep of the Falcons. The Penmen walked off in game one, 3-1, before coming from behind in the finale, 6-4.

Critch finished the Saturday set with two hits in three trips to the plate, three RBI and one run scored. Garczynski went 3-for-5, drove in three and scored twice, while Lavallee was 3-for-6 at the plate and earned the win in the circle after a complete-game effort in game one. Freshman Coralie Mathieu (Methuen, Mass.) went 5-for-7 in the twinbill with a run scored for the Penmen, who won their third straight.

After rallying to top Bentley on Friday, Southern New Hampshire found itself in a similar situation in Saturday's opener. The Falcons jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top half of the third on a two-out, RBI triple off the bat of Stacey Korotsky that plated Noa Rivera with the game's first run.

The Penmen wasted little time in responding, as they pushed across the tying run in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Brittany Perdigao (Stoughton, Mass.) led off with a base hit before moving up to second on a sacrifice bunt. Garczynski stepped in next and knocked in Perdigao to even things up at one apiece.

Lavallee kept the score unchanged into the home half of the seventh after allowing just one hit and fanning a pair over the ensuing three innings. With one out in the seventh, Lavallee laced a single on the first pitch she saw, and two batters later, Critch belted a 3-1 offering out of the SNHU Softball Field to secure the victory.

In the series finale, Southern New Hampshire jumped out to a two-run lead in the third before having to battle back from another deficit. Perdigao and Garczynski were again the catalysts behind the Penmen rally in the third, as Perdigao led started the frame with a base hit through left side before Garczynski drilled a 1-2 pitch over the wall to stake the hosts to a 2-0 advantage.

Bentley answered back in the next half inning and put up three runs to jump ahead, 3-2. Jodran Ballantyne delivered an RBI single to right before Stephanie McQuaid reset the contest with a sacrifice fly to right. Two batters later, the Falcons grabbed their first lead of the game off a run-scoring knock through the left side.

The back-and-forth affair continued into the fifth as the Penmen tacked on three runs of their own to reestablish a two-run cushion. Lavallee smacked her ninth homer of the year on the first pitch of the fifth to draw Southern New Hampshire even before the Penmen were able to score twice more without the ball leaving the infield. Mathieu followed Lavallee by reaching on an error and moved up to second on a passed ball. A sacrifice bunt put Mathieu on third before a bunt single off the bat of freshman Jackie Gavin (Laconia, N.H.) left runners on the corners with one out. After Gavin swiped second, the second passed ball of the inning allowed Mathieu to scamper home and make it 4-3. Two batters later, Critch dropped a bunt single that plated Gavin and put the hosts ahead by a pair. 

The Falcons would not go quietly and trimmed their deficit back to a single run in the top of the sixth. Singles by Kaileigh Serafini and Stephanie McQuaid left runners on first and second with two away for Lea Thompson, and she sent an RBI base hit into left to make it a 5-4 ballgame. It would be as close as Bentley would come, however, as sophomore Erin Tyrrell (Milford, N.H.) drove in Garczynski with a single to center in the bottom of the sixth to cap the game's scoring.

Sophomore Maddy Barone (Halifax, Mass.) earned the win in the circle after tossing 3.1 innings of one-run relief and striking out six while working around seven hits. Freshman Olivia Strasser (Rutland, Mass.) fired the first 3.2 innings of Saturday's finale and surrendered three runs on four hits while striking out one.

Perdigao turned in a 3-for-4 performance at the dish in game two and scored a run, while Gavin added three hits in four trips to the plate. 

Notes:
- The Penmen pounded out 17 hits in game two and added six in game one to finish with 23 on the day. SNHU pitching surrendered 16 Bentley hits but fanned nine Falcon batters while walking just two.
- Lavallee's home run was her ninth of the season, which ties a career high, and No. 34 in her career. She sits just one home run short of tying Kate Stanley for the most long balls in program history.
- Perdigao's performance on Saturday ups her career hit total to 162 and moves her into sole possession of fifth-place all-time in career hits at Southern New Hampshire.

What's Next:
The Penmen hit the road Sunday (April 15) for a nonconference doubleheader at Long Island University-LIU Post slated to begin at noon.

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