LOWELL, Mass. – The Saint Anselm College softball team fell 13-5 to Le Moyne College on Championship Weekend of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship on Thursday afternoon at River View Field on the campus of UMass Lowell.
Saint Anselm (18-16) led 2-0 after five innings before third-seeded Le Moyne (29-16) exploded for 10 runs in the top of the sixth and went on to advance to face top-seeded Adelphi later in the day. The Hawks, seeded second out of the Northeast Division, were making their fourth appearance in the NE10 Championship in the last five seasons.
The game was the first meeting between the two programs since April 7, 2013 and was the first postseason encounter between the Hawks and Dolphins since 2003. Le Moyne has won the last three meetings (2002, 2003, 2017) in the series in the NE10 Championship after Saint Anselm won the first two (1997, 2000).
Four batters had two hits apiece for Saint Anselm. Erin Thompson was 2-for-4 with two RBI, Megan Murrell was 2-for-4 with a double and a run and Madison Borrelli went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Maggie Murphy reached base twice, going 1-for-3 with a triple and a walk, while Shannon Colson and Shannon McLaughlin also drove in runs.
Sam Hennequin worked the first 5.1 innings for the Hawks, allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits while striking out four. The senior's four strikeouts gave her 138 for the season, passing assistant coach Tayla Trask for fifth-most in single-season program history. Morgan Perry got the last five outs of the game for Saint Anselm.
Five Le Moyne hitters had multiple hits and five also drove in multiple runs as the Dolphins had 10 extra-base hits, including eight doubles. Courtney Case was 3-for-5 with a double, home run, three runs and two RBI, Ally Nicolosi was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and three RBI, Madison DeRita was 3-for-4 with three doubles, a run and an RBI and Lauren Zazzaro was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and three RBI.
Bellrose tossed the first four innings for the Dolphins, allowing two runs on five hits, before being replaced by Alexis Eastman. Eastman picked up her 20th victory of the season, holding the Hawks to one run on four hits over the final three innings.
Saint Anselm got on the board first in the top of the second. Murrell started the frame with a single up the middle, moved to third on a double to the fence in center by Thompson, and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Colson.
Murrell again started a run-scoring inning for the Hawks in the fourth, lacing a double to the gap in left center. Later in the inning, Murrell was still on third with two outs after a walk to McLaughlin, but Borrelli knocked her in with a single to right.
Hennequin put zeroes on the board through the first five innings before Le Moyne scored 10 times in the sixth. Courtney Case and Sabrina Riley tied the game with solo home runs off Hennequin. Later in the inning, the Dolphins went ahead on an RBI double by DeRita, her third double of the game.
As the inning continued, the Dolphins scored seven more runs on four two-out doubles. Zazzaro cleared the bases with three-run double, Case and Nicolosi added RBI doubles and Bellrose had a two-run double of her own. Eight of the 10 Le Moyne runs in the sixth went as unearned runs.
Saint Anselm got one back in the bottom of the sixth as Colson doubled to left center with one out, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout to third by McLaughlin. Le Moyne hit back with three two-out runs in the seventh, scoring on a two-run double by Nicolosi and a run-scoring single by Riley.
The Hawks scored the game's final two runs in their final at-bat. Michaela Kane and Murphy reached base and moved into scoring position with two outs and Thompson sent a two-run single through the right side to plate both runners.
Saint Anselm finishes the season 18-16 overall with Henenquin as the lone senior on the roster. Hennequin finished her career with a 20-19 record and 3.74 ERA in 59 appearances, including 36 starts, and struck out 213 in 254.1 innings of work.
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