BOSTON, Mass. – The Albertus Magnus softball squad picked up a pair of Great Northeast Athletic Conference wins Saturday afternoon at Roberto Clemente Field over host Emmanuel College in a key GNAC showdown. The Falcons posted a 5-1 win in Game 1 before coming from behind in Game 2 for a 6-5 victory. AMC improves to 26-12 on the year and 14-6 in GNAC play while the Saints drop four in a row to close the regular season and fall to 15-19 and 12-10 in the GNAC.
Prior to the start of the first game, the Emmanuel College Athletic Department honored the four senior members of the 2017 squad in Brenna Gilmore (San Carlos, Calif.), Kara Madden (Silver Spring, Md.), Susie Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) and Jill Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.).
GAME 1 - 5-1, Albertus Magnus
The Falcons got off to a quick start as junior third baseman Gillian Fortier (Naugatuck, Conn.) opened the action with a leadoff blast to left centerfield to give Albertus Magnus a 1-0 lead. A few batters later, junior first baseman Melissa Castillo (Taftville, Conn.) connected on a two-run homer to the same spot to give the visitors a 3-0 lead.
Albertus made it 4-0 in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Senior second baseman Rachel Cataudella (Shelton, Conn.) worked a walk, stole second, moved over to third on a wild pitch and came across to score on another wild pitch.
Emmanuel got on the board in the fifth and threatened for more but the Falcons worked out of the jam. EC sophomore centefielder Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) got into scoring position with a double to center and came around to score on an RBI single by freshman second baseman Kerry Sendrick (Medway, Mass.) to cut the lead to 4-1. The Saints went on to load the bases with two outs but Albertus Magnus junior pitcher Megan Ferraro (Brandford, Conn.) worked out of the jam to preserve the three-run lead.
The Falcons got the run back in the sixth to bump the lead to 5-1. Freshman left fielder Morgan Shura (Wallingford, Conn.) just missed a two-run homer with a long single off the wall to drive in the fifth AMC run of the afternoon.
Ferraro made the score hold up, going the distance to improve to 13-4 on the year while EC senior Jill Kilcoyne suffered the loss to fall to 9-8 overall.
GAME 2 – 6-5, Albertus Magnus
The Falcons jumped on the Saints in the first inning as Fortier reached via an EC error and came around to score on an RBI single up the middle by Castillo to make it 1-0 but the Saints answered in the bottom of the second to take their first lead of the afternoon. Sophomore pitcher Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) helped her own cause with a two-run blast to left-center to give the hosts the 2-1 lead.
Junior catcher Daysia Wehder (Queens, N.Y.) crushed a home run to left center to pull the Falcons back to within a run to make it 3-2 in the fourth but Kieselback answered in the bottom of the frame with her second blast of the game. The sophomore belted another two-run shot to left to again help her own cause and give the hosts a 5-2 cushion.
Fortier answered in the top of the fifth with a two-run line drive homer to the opposite field to pull the Falcons back to within one at 5-4. The Falcons threatened for more, getting two runners in scoring position but Kieselback was able to get out of the jam to preserve the one-run lead.
Castillo came back in a big way to deliver the knockout blow in the top of the seventh to send the Falcons home with the sweep. Down to their final out, the first basemen took a 2-1 fastball deep for a two-run homer to give Albertus the 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Saints called upon Ferraro to come on to get the save and the game one starter worker her magic again to preserve the win. Kieselback took the loss for Emmanuel and falls to 5-8 on the year.
The Saints will wait to see the results of tomorrow's GNAC contests to determine who and where they will play on Tuesday, May 2 in the First Round of the 2017 GNAC Softball Tournament. The Saints are in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and still have a chance to host a game next week depending on other results. Albertus Magnus will close out the regular season tomorrow against Saint Joseph's College (ME) with a chance to secure the No. 2 seed in the tournament field with a sweep.