Softball Overpowers UMass Lowell in Slugfest, 13-8

NORTH ANDOVER, MA- The Merrimack softball team used 10 late-game runs to capture a 13-8 victory over UMass Lowell Wednesday afternoon in a game that featured 26 hits and six home runs. The Warriors improved to 16-20 on the year and 10-14 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The River Hawks slip to 30-14 overall and 16-10 in league play with the loss.

"I thought we started out well and finished even better to pick up this key win," said head coach Jill Karwoski. "I was proud of the way we rallied late in the game to claim the lead and hold on. We will need to bring the same intensity tomorrow."

Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA) paced Merrimack with four base hits and five RBIs. Jenn Post (Orange, CT) drove in three RBIs while Keaira Perry (Bellingham, MA) and Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, TX) each picked up two RBIs each. Ashley Perry (Winchendon, MA) collected three hits on the day while Alex Gallant (Salem, NH) landed two and scored three runs.

The Warriors grabbed a quick 1-0 edge in the bottom of the first. Giovannini laced a single down the line in left to score Gosselin.

Lowell responded with four runs in the second to claim a 4-1 lead. Ali Ferraro belted a two-run homer to left center, giving the visitors their first lead on the afternoon. Ashley Daniels followed with a solo shot to left as the River Hawks extended their advantage to 3-1. Meagan Guy scored the fourth run of the frame as she scooted home on a fielding error.

Merrimack cut the deficit to 4-3 in the home half of the inning. Gosselin raked a single up the middle to drive in a pair of runs as Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, MA) and Gallant both crossed the plate.

UMass Lowell added a run in the third as Daniels came home on a fielding error by the Warriors. The River Hawks tacked on their sixth run of the contest in the fifth on a solo homer to right center by Guy, her first of the day.

The home team erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fifth to seize a 9-6 lead. With two runners on base, Post singled to left to score Nicole LoPilato (Medford, MA) from third. Gallant scampered home on a throwing error by the away team. Merrimack knotted the score at 6-6 as Gosselin picked up an RBI single with the bases loaded.

Keaira Perry gave the Warriors their first lead of the day since the first inning with a two-run single through the right side of the infield. Giovannini expanded Merrimack's advantage to three runs with a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Gosselin to tag up and score.

The Warriors pushed across four runs in the home half of the sixth frame to move ahead 13-6. Post launched a one-out, two-run homer to center for her third of the season. Gosselin hammered a two-run home run to left center to cap off the hosts' scoring. The blast was the senior's seventh of the 2012 campaign and 36th career round-tripper.

The River Hawks made a late charge but Merrimack stymied the visitors to seal the victory. Guy cranked a two-run homer to pull Lowell to within five, 13-8, in the seventh. The River Hawks threatened with runners on the corners and two outs in the inning. Palmieri recorded the final out as she snagged a pop-up floating over second base to award the Warriors their third-straight win.

Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, MA) pitched her ninth complete game of the season and registered four strikeouts to improve to 9-8 in the pitcher's circle.

Merrimack will continue its home-stand in the final stretch of the regular season with a Northeast-10 doubleheader against Southern NH April 19.