BEVERLY, Mass. — The Endicott softball team fell short in a doubleheader to visiting University of New England, 6-1 and 7-6, Friday evening at the Softball Complex in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action.
GAME ONE: U. OF NEW ENGLAND 6, ENDICOTT 1
Sophomore hurler Laura Somerville (Suffield, Conn.) was on a roll to begin the game, retiring the first 10 batters she faced before senior Sydney Helmbrecht (Grand Rapids, Minn.) broke up the perfect game bid as she laced a single to right center with one out in the fourth.
UNE plated the game's first run later that inning as first year catcher Lauren Gerhard (Merrimack, N.H.) drove a ball to left field to bring around sophomore shortstop Caroline Schoenbucher (Barrington, N.H.).
Sophomore first baseman Jamie Hopgood (Warwick, R.I.) tied the game in the bottom of the fourth frame with her first career home run to deep right center for the Gulls' lone hit of the game.
UNE broke open the game with a trio of runs in the sixth, highlighted by Gerhard's two-run blast to left.
The Nor'easters tacked on two more in the seventh to cruise to victory as sophomore pitcher Melissa Sprague (Londonderry, N.H.) mowed down Endicott a season-high 12 times by way of the K and walked two batters to earn her second win in the circle (2-1).
GAME TWO: U. OF NEW ENGLAND 7, ENDICOTT 6
The Nor'easters jumped out to a 5-0 lead heading to the bottom of the second, thanks in part to Gerhard's RBI single to right in the first inning to score Schoenbucher, followed by a pair of errors to prolong the second inning in which UNE pushed across four runs, all unearned, capped off by Schoenbucher's two-RBI double up the middle.
Endicott got one back in the bottom of the second on senior second baseman Chrissy Gikas' (Danvers, Mass.) slap single up the middle to score sophomore center fielder Olivia Odermatt (Cheshire, Conn.).
A wild pitch in the fourth inning allowed Odermatt to score her second run of the day, and junior first baseman Margaret Martzolf's (Port Saint Lucie, Fla.) solo dinger off sophomore reliever Sydnee Bessler (Everett, Mass.) to left in the fifth cut the deficit to 5-3.
Sophomore outfielder Andrea Gosper's (Wyoming, R.I.) two-run shot to center in the top of the seventh increased the Nor'easters' lead to 7-3, before the Gulls' two-out three-run rally fell short in the comeback effort.
With two outs and runners on first and second, sophomore left fielder Hayley Arduini (Southington, Conn.) belted a two-RBI bases-clearing double to bring around senior right fielder Julia McNeill (Smithtown, N.Y.) and senior third baseman Lindsee Allienello (East Providence, R.I.).
Odermatt followed suit with a double of her own high off the left field fence that had the looks of being a game-tying homer— but to no avail— as Arudini came into score the final run of the day.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Hopgood's home run in Game 1 was the Gulls' first long ball of the season.
- Somerville was tagged with the loss (2-3) in Game 1 as she allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits with one walk and one punchout in 6 2/3 innings of work.
- Martzolf's home run in Game 2 was the Gulls' second of the season and her first roundtripper of the year (seventh of her career).
- Martzolf, Odermatt, and junior catcher Emily Sharpe (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) each tallied a pair of hits for Endicott in Game 2.
- Sharpe led the way with two-extra base hits for her first two hits of the season. They were also her first career doubles and marked the first time in her career that she had a pair of extra-base hits in the same game.
- Freshman pitcher Rylie Strong (Arvada, Colo.) fell to 0-3 on the season as she surrendered seven runs (three earned) on 11 hits (one home run), walked one and fanned one batter in six innings in the circle before junior Mikaela Mallozzi (Shelton, Conn.) made her fourth appearance (third relief) in the seventh.
- The Gulls have now lost nine games in a row.
FOR THE FOES
- Schoenbucher paced UNE with a 2-for-3 effort (one double) with one RBI and three runs scored in Game 1.
- Schoenbucher went 3-of-4 (one double) with two RBIs and two runs scored in Game 2.
- Overall, Schoenbucher was 5-for-7 (two doubles) with two RBIs and five runs scored on the day.
- Gerhard and Gosper each hit their first home runs of the year.
- Sprague's 12 strikeouts in Game 1 is also a season-high for UNE as a team and Sprague individually.
- Sophomore starter Sophia Burnham (Scarborough, Maine) earned her second win of the season (2-1) in four innings of work in Game 2, allowing two runs on four hits and issued three walks.
- Bessler picked up her first save of the season while giving up four runs on four hits (one homer), walking one and striking out four in three innings of relief.
- The Gulls are now 31-15 all-time against UNE and 17-7 at home.
- UNE also swept last's season's regular-season doubleheader (5-4, 6-5) on April 9, 2016, before Endicott knocked the Nor'easters out of the CCC Tournament with a 6-1 win on May 5, 2016 in the most recent meeting before today.
Endicott (4-10, 0-4 CCC) travels to Boston, Mass. to take on Wentworth on Saturday, April 8th at 12:00/2:00 p.m. before returning home on Sunday, April 9th at 12:00/2:00 p.m. when the Gulls hosts Salve Regina on Senior Day!
University of New England (7-5, 3-1CCC) goes on the road at Western New England on Saturday, April 8th at 12:00/2:00 p.m.
(Photo Credit — Matt Connelly)