Washburn's big day leads softball to sweep of Southern Conn. St.

Washburn's big day leads softball to sweep of Southern Conn. St.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College softball team extended its winning streak to six games with a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader sweep of Southern Connecticut State University on Sunday afternoon at the South Athletic Fields. The Hawks won the first game with a score of 4-1 while taking the second game by an 8-0 final in six innings.

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The Hawks improve to 21-7 overall on the year and 9-1 against NE10 opponents while the Owls fall to 6-23 and 4-12 in NE10 play.

Sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) had a monster day at the plate, finishing with five hits, including two doubles and a home run. In game one, her two-run blast in the first inning proved to be the game-winning hit in a 4-1 victory.

Junior pitcher Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) earned her 10th win of the season in five innings of work. She jumped to fourth all-time in career strikeouts with nine on the day, surpassing Lori Cillo '94. Perry now has fanned 352 batters in her career.

In the second game, sophomores Abbie Murrell (Scarborough, Maine) and Maddison Leite (Cumberland, R.I.) each drove in three runs. Sophomore pitcher Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.) went the distance and earned her seventh win of the season, fanning six batters and limiting the Owls to just two hits. Fisher moved into a tie for 10th place all-time in program history with 22 career wins, matching Brigitte June '06.

Saint Anselm 4, Southern Connecticut State 1 | Box Score

Saint Anselm's offense struck in the first inning thanks to a two-run home run by Washburn. Junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) singled to start the inning and later swiped second base, putting her only three thefts away from setting the program record. She advanced to third on a groundout before Washburn sent the ball over the center field fence to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.

Perry retired the next five batters before a two-out triple in the third by Sara Buscetto. However, Perry stranded that runner at third with a strikeout to end the inning. The Owls put two runners on in the fourth inning but Perry again got out of the jam with another inning-ending strikeout.

However, Southern Connecticut did manage to cut the lead in half in the fifth. Buscetto singled and stole second with two outs. Alexa Bacoulis reached on an error, allowing Buscetto to score the unearned run.

The Hawks responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. A two-out single by Leite followed by a triple by freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick (Danville, N.H.), making it 3-1. Colson plated Fitzpatrick with a single up the middle for the 4-1 advantage. 

Fisher and freshman McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) each pitched an inning in relief, allowing just one base runner between the two. Fisher got an inning-ending double play in the sixth while Smith got two strikeouts in the seventh for her fourth save of the year.

Saint Anselm 8, Southern Connecticut State 0 Final/6 Innings | Box Score

After Fisher shut down the Owls in order to start the game, the Hawks again jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. A two-out double by Washburn followed by a single by senior Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) put runners on the corners for Saint Anselm. Murrell singled to score Washburn to make it 1-0.

Fisher retired five in a row before Saint Anselm added two runs in the third inning for a 3-0 edge.

Washburn and O'Connor singled, before both moved up a base on a fielding error. Murrell drove in her second run of the game on a ground out before Leite knocked in O'Connor with a single down the right field line.

Fisher allowed a single in the fourth before setting down nine straight batters. Saint Anselm scored three more times in the fifth.

Washburn started the inning with her third hit of the game before being replaced by freshman pinch runner Kate Irwin (Milford, Mass.). O'Connor singled, moving Irwin to third while advancing on the throw to put runners in scoring position with no outs. 

Murrell came up with another single, driving in Irwin. O'Connor scored on the same play after the right fielder threw the ball away and allowed Murrell to move to second. Fitzpatrick came up with a two-out single to score sophomore pinch runner Kat Stackrow (Wynantskill, N.Y.), giving the Hawks a 6-0 lead.

The Hawks ended the game in the sixth as, with the bases loaded, Leite drove in the final two runs with a single to left center that allowed Washburn and Colson to score.

O'Connor finished the game with three hit and scored twice while Murrell and Leite each had a pair of hits. Delany Turner suffered the loss for the Owls, allowing six runs, four of which were earned, on 11 hits in four innings.

Saint Anselm wraps up its five-game home swing with a NE10 divisional contest against Franklin Pierce on Tuesday, Apr. 9 at 3 p.m.