BOSTON, Mass. – For the second time in as many days, the Emmanuel College softball team salvaged a Great Northeast Athletic Conference doubleheader split Sunday afternoon at Roberto Clemente Field. The Saints dropped game one to Suffolk University, 8-5, before coming from behind to win game two in walk-off fashion with a 2-1 win. Emmanuel now stands at 7-11 overall and 4-2 in GNAC play while the Rams move to 7-11 and 1-3.
GAME 1 – 8-5, Suffolk
The Rams struck for five runs with two outs in the top of the first inning to jump out to a quick 5-0 lead. An RBI single to left by junior catcher Delaney Sylvester (Worcester, Mass.) made it 1-0. Two batters later senior Lindsay Pagano (Wyckoff, N.J.) connected on a ground rule double to left to bump the lead to 3-0. Next up, junior second baseman Madison Eucalitto (Old Saybrook, Conn.) doubled to deep centerfield to drive in two more runs to account for the 5-0 cushion.
Suffolk added to its lead in the fourth inning to break open the game. The Saints appeared to get out of the inning with just three pitches, securing the first two outs on two pitches and inducing an infield pop up on the third but a miscommunication between the right side infielders allowed the ball to drop and keep the inning alive. The Rams took advantage of the mental miscue and scored three more runs fueled by a two-RBI single to right field by sophomore Jill Pulek (Cheshire, Conn.).
Emmanuel threatened to get on the board in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff double by sophomore catcher Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) but Suffolk junior pitcher Taylor Holmes (Ashford, Conn.) was able to work out of the threat and strand Sheehan on third base to preserve the 8-0 lead.
The Saints finally got on the board in the fifth to keep the game alive as freshman centerfield Sarah Hoisl (West Hartford, Conn.) led off the inning with a ground rule double to center and scored on an RBI triple to right by sophomore pitcher Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) to make it 8-1. Burgos scored on an RBI groundout by Sheehan to cut the lead to 8-2 and an RBI single by sophomore third baseman Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) made it an 8-3 game.
Emmanuel threatened in the sixth putting its first two runners on base but Holmes and the Rams defense worked out of the jam to preserve an 8-3 score heading into the final inning.
In the seventh, EC freshman shortstop Sydney Rogers (Southwick, Mass.) led off the frame with a solo blast to cut the lead in half at 8-4 before Sheehan made it 8-5 with a solo shot of her own to right-centerfield to chase Holmes from the game. On in relief, sophomore Jaclyn Flint (Medfield, Mass.) recorded the final two outs for the save to preserve the 8-5 Suffolk win.
Holmes improves to 3-5 on the year picking up the win while EC sophomore Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) falls to 2-5.
GAME 2 – 2-1, EC
Emmanuel threatened to open the scoring in the second inning by loading the bases with two outs but Suffolk junior pitcher Ali Yamakaitis (Avenel, N.J.) worked out of the inning to keep the score at 0-0 through two.
Suffolk got on the board in the third with another two-out run, this time on an RBI single down the right field line by freshman right fielder Ashley Zulla (Columbus, Ohio) to give the Rams a 1-0 advantage.
In the fourth, the Saints loaded the bases with no outs but Yamakaitis worked her way out of the jam with a strikeout, groundout and fly out to strand them loaded and keep it a 1-0 game.
EC senior pitcher Jill Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.) returned the favor in the fifth as Suffolk loaded the bases with one out before Kilcoyne worked out of the inning to keep it a one-run game. The Saints tied the game in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out solo blast to centerfield by Sheehan to even the score at 1-1 heading into the sixth.
Following a scoreless sixth, Kilcoyne surrendered a leadoff single in the seventh but worked out of the inning to give Emmanuel a chance to walk off with the win. Rogers represented the winning run after connecting on a one-out single to left and came around to score on an RBI double to right center by sophomore second baseman Kerry Sendrick (Medway, Mass.) to lift the Saints to a 2-1 win.
Kilcoyne went the distance striking out six to earn the win and improve to 4-4 on the year. Yamakaitis was the tough-luck loser and falls to 3-6 overall.
The Saints return to the diamond on Wednesday, April 12 when they hit the road to take on Saint Joseph's College (ME) in a GNAC twinbill scheduled for a 3:30 PM start. Suffolk plays host to Curry College on Tuesday, April 11 in non-conference action.