NORTH ANDOVER, MA- The Merrimack softball team swapped wins with Southern New Hampshire in a Northeast-10 doubleheader Thursday afternoon at Warrior Diamond. The Warriors prevailed 5-0 before falling 9-1 in five innings move to 17-21 on the season and 10-15 in the Northeast-10 Conference. The Penmen progress to 26-16 overall and 16-10 in league action.
"I thought we played a great first game today and I thought we started a bit slow in game two," said head coach Jill Karwoski. "I thought we showed great intensity all day and we'll look to bounce back tomorrow."
Merrimack was led by Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, MA) with three hits and four RBIs on the afternoon. Jaclyn Giovannini (Plano, TX) drove in two runs on two base hits. Tawny Palmieri (Peabody, MA) and Monique Gosselin (Lawrence, MA) each crossed the plate twice in the doubleheader.
Kelli Jo Deardorff (Bedford, MA) pitched 8.1 innings in the pitcher's circle for the Warriors on the day.
Merrimack jumped out to an early advantage with a four-run first inning. Palmieri drew a lead-off walk and then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Ashley Perry (Winchendon, MA). After a walk issued to Gosselin, Giovannini flared a single to right to drive in Palmieri for the Warriors' first run of the day. Keaira Perry followed with a three-run blast to centerfield for her fifth homer of the season, giving the hosts a 4-0 lead.
In the third, Keaira Perry drove in her fourth RBI on the contest with a single up the middle to plate Gosselin as Merrimack captured a 5-0 edge.
Deardorff tossed her 10th complete game of the year while striking out seven batters and scattering just three hits. She allowed no hits after the third inning to seal her 10th win of the 2012 campaign.
In the nightcap, Southern NH seized a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Ali Maloof scored on a fielding error.
The Penmen doubled their advantage to 2-0 in the second frame as Morgan Farmer launched a one-out home run to center.
The visitors expanded their lead to 8-0 with a six-run inning in the fourth on four hits. Jessica Berardi tallied Southern NH's first run of the frame as she crossed the plate on an error. Catherine Stanley picked up an RBI single to drive in Farmer. With the bases loaded, Kelsea Cheney blasted a grand slam to right center.
The Penmen added a run in the fifth to increase the margin to nine, 9-0. Cara Daly led off the inning with a solo shot down the left field line.
Merrimack got on the board in the home half of the fifth, tacking on one run. With runners on first and second base, Giovannini landed a single in left field to allow Palmieri to come around and score.
Alie Thomas (Bedford, NH) started game two and tossed 3.2 innings while registering one strikeout. Deardorff hurled the final 1.1 innings of the contest and allowed one earned run.
The Warriors remain at home as they host Assumption Friday, April 20.