CLERMONT, Fla. – The Saint Anselm College softball team picked up a regional win over Bridgeport, 7-2, before seeing its late rally fall short in a 5-3 setback to Kutztown to conclude its showing at The Spring Games on Saturday at Legends Way Ballfields.
Saint Anselm 7, Bridgeport 2 | Box
Saint Anselm (2-6) scored five runs over the first two innings to stake Sam Hennequin to an early lead and Hennequin took care of the rest with a complete game in a 7-2 win over Bridgeport (6-2). Hennequin allowed two runs on seven hits over the seven innings with three walks and five strikeouts to improve to 2-1 on the season.
Offensively, Karoline Leavitt went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI, while Megan Murrell also knocked in two runs. Amanda Bickford and Leiandra Wilson each scored a pair of runs for the Hawks.
Saint Anselm capitalized on three Bridgeport errors in the top of the first to score three times. The first three runners all reached base to load the bases with nobody out before Bickford scored on a wild pitch for the first run. The second run scored when Murrell reached on an error by the shortstop and, later in the inning, Wilson scored on a throwing error by the catcher on a stolen base by Maggie Murphy.
The Hawks added two more in the top of the second with a three-hit inning. Bickford led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a ground ball before Wilson singled to leave runners at the corners with one out. Murrell then sent a RBI single through the right side to score Bickford and Murphy knocked in another with a groundout.
Bridgeport got on the board with a single run in the bottom of the third on a RBI single off the bat of Kamryn Beach with two outs. After a hit batter loaded the bases, Hennequin held the Purple Knights to just the one run by inducing a grounder to Jordan O'Connor at short.
The Purple Knights closed the gap to three, 5-2, with a run in the fourth but Leavitt blasted a two-run double to left in the top of the fifth to stretch the lead back to five. With the five-run lead, Hennequin put up three zeroes to close out the victory.
Kutztown 5, Saint Anselm 3 | Box
Trailing 4-0 entering the bottom of the sixth, Saint Anselm rallied with a three-run inning to get within one, but Kutztown (8-3) added a run in the seventh and held on for a 5-3 victory. Murrell went 4-for-4 with a run and Bickford was 3-for-4 with one RBI, as the pair combined for seven of the Hawks' 12 hits.
The Bears also recorded 12 hits, led by Gabby Tareila's 3-for-4 performance that included a run and a RBI. Tamara Jennings was 2-for-4 with two runs, while Blayse Cholish reached base three times by going 2-for-3 with a walk.
Savannah Nierintz, who entered the game with a 0.79 ERA, picked up the win for the Bears to improve to 5-1. Nierintz allowed three runs on 12 hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts. Morgan Perry hurled a complete game for Saint Anselm, allowing five runs (four earned).
Kutztown got out to an early 1-0 lead on a RBI single by Tareila in the top of the first and made it 2-0 in the second with an unearned run. After Perry put back-to-back zeroes on the board, the Bears got two more in the fifth on a two-out, two-run single off the bat of Bridget Newman to stretch the lead to 4-0.
After Perry got out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the top of the sixth, the Hawks scored three runs on five hits in the bottom of the frame to get within one. With runners on the corners and one out, Shannon McLaughlin got Saint Anselm on the board with a RBI single to right center. After the second out, O'Connor and Bickford hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it a 4-3 game. A walk to Shannon loaded the bases with two away but Nierintz got Murphy to line out to left to end the inning.
Gia Santigate hit a RBI single in the top of the seventh to give the Bears an insurance run and a two-run lead. In its last at-bat, Saint Anselm put runners on the corners with two outs but Wilson flied out to right on the first pitch while pinch hitting.
The Hawks do not play again until Wednesday, March 22 when cross-town rival Southern New Hampshire University visits the Hilltop for a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m.