When and Where: April 7, 2018 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Softball Field)
Game One Score: No. 23 Southern New Hampshire University 4, University of New Haven 3
Game Two Score: University of New Haven 8, No. 23 Southern New Hampshire University 1
Records: SNHU 22-6 (5-3 Northeast-10 Conference), UNH 12-15 (5-7 Northeast-10 Conference)
Freshman Shay Sauvageau (Griswold, Conn.) delivered a go-ahead solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning in Saturday's doubleheader opener to lift the 23rd-ranked Southern New Hampshire University softball team to a 4-3 victory over the University of New Haven. The Penmen fell in the finale, 8-1, to split the cross-divisional clash of Northeast-10 Conference foes.
After a two-run top of the sixth drew the Chargers even, Sauvageau picked an opportune time for her first career long ball as she led off the home half of the frame by depositing a 2-1 offering over the wall in left.
It proved to be the difference, as senior Sarah Lavallee (Candia, N.H.) put the finishing touches on a complete-game effort with a clean seventh inning to secure the victory. Lavallee allowed three runs on six hits while fanning four to improve to 10-2 on the year.
New Haven opened the game's scoring in the top of the second on a Jovanna Hillman solo shot before Southern New Hampshire answered with a pair in the bottom of the stanza. Junior Erin Garczynski (Norwood, Mass.) led things off with a base hit through the left side before Lavallee was walked. After a sacrifice bunt off the bat of freshman Jackie Gavin (Laconia, N.H.), freshman Emily Critch (Halifax, Mass.) reached on an infield single that plated Garczynski with the tying run. Two batters later, senior Katie Horiuchi (Livingston, N.J.) delivered a two-out single to center that brought in Lavallee to make it 2-1 through two.
The Penmen pushed their lead to a pair in the bottom of the fifth without the benefit of a hit, as sophomore Gabriella Vachon (Newton, Mass.) reached on an error and later came around to score on an RBI groundout off the bat of classmate Jordan Wade (East Taunton, Mass.)
The Chargers would not go quietly, however, as they scratched across a pair of two-out runs in the sixth to reset the contest. Back-to-back singles off the bats of Alexa Hershberger and Marissa Colby left runners on first and second for Hillman, who dumped a single into left that made it a one-run game. Kristine Liptack stepped in next and shot a single to right that brought home the tying run.
Sauvageau finished 2-for-3 in the opener with an RBI, while Garczynski also rapped out a pair of hits in three trips to the plate with a run scored.
Saturday's finale saw New Haven again take a lead in the second inning before the Penmen answered right back in their trip to the plate in the frame. Taylor Luzzi led off the Chargers' half with a triple before scoring on the throw to make it 1-0. Garczynski was plunked by a pitch to start the Penmen second before Gavin reached on a fielder's choice two batters later and stole second to put runners on second and third with one out. Critch followed by shooting a groundball to the right side that resulted in a run-scoring groundout to even the score at one apiece.
It would be all the offense Southern New Hampshire would generate in game two, as Kylie Stonebraker limited the Penmen to just two hits over the first 5.2 innings of the contest. New Haven pushed across a pair of runs in the third after benefitting from a passed ball and a Colby double. After Sierra Whitlock connected on an RBI single in the fourth, Hillman roped a two-run shot to center in the seventh before a Southern New Hampshire miscue allowed the final run to score. Megan Butts tossed a perfect 1.1 to close out the afternoon and salvage a split for the visitors.
- Freshman Olivia Strasser (Rutland, Mass.) her collegiate debut in the circle in Saturday's second game, as she worked a third of an inning in relief. Sophomore Maddy Barone (Halifax, Mass.) was saddled with the loss in game two after allowing two earned runs on five hits in three innings. Freshman Ali Atherton (Milford, Mass.) entered for the ensuing 3.2 innings and surrendered four runs on five hits.
- The Penmen combined for nine hits in the twinbill after rapping out seven in the opener. New Haven totaled 17 hits after collecting six in game one and 11 in game two.
Southern New Hampshire looks to get back on track Sunday (April 8) when they host Southern Connecticut State University in a two-game set beginning at noon.
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