No. 21 Softball Posts Third-Straight Shutout; Blanks Merrimack, 8-0

BOX SCORE

When and Where: March 31, 2016 – Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Softball Field)
Score: No. 21 Southern New Hampshire University 8, Merrimack College 0 (5 innings)
Records: SNHU 14-5 (6-1 Northeast-10), Merrimack 5-18 (0-6 Northeast-10)

Senior Katie Caruso (Newton, Mass.) went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs while sophomore Sarah Lavallee (Candia, N.H.) tossed her second consecutive complete-game shutout, as No. 21 Southern New Hampshire University posted an 8-0 victory in five innings against Merrimack College in a Northeast-10 Conference softball contest on Thursday. It marks the third-straight shutout for the Penmen, who also won their eighth game in a row.

Senior Lindsey Bolduc (Londonderry, N.H.) added three hits and scored a pair of runs to help lead the Southern New Hampshire offense, and junior Erin Morrissey (Commack, N.Y.) also picked up a pair of base hits in the triumph.

After Lavallee eased through the first with a 1-2-3 inning, the Penmen jumped ahead in the bottom of the frame. Senior Mo Hannan (Scarborough, Maine) led off with a 14-pitch at-bat that resulted in a walk before Caruso connected on a two-out double to right that plated the first run of the afternoon.

Southern New Hampshire went scoreless in the second, but came back with a four-run third inning to push its advantage to five. Hannan started the rally with an infield single before advancing to second on a wild pickoff attempt. Bolduc followed with a base hit, and advanced to second on a throw to put runners on second and third with nobody out for freshman Erin Garczynski (Norwood, Mass.). Garczynski tagged an RBI single through the left side to make it 2-0 before a Warriors' error off the bat of Caruso allowed Bolduc to score and increase the cushion to three. After sophomore Brittany Perdigao (Stoughton, Mass.) moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt, junior Jessica Torsiello (Morris Plains, N.J.) ripped a base hit down the left field line to bring in Garczynski and Caruso.

The Penmen tacked on another run in the fourth when Lavallee drew a bases loaded walk and tacked on two more runs in the fifth to put the game away. Morrissey led off with a single before Bolduc added a two-out base knock. After Garczynski earned a free pass to load the bases, Caruso drove in the game-winning runs with a single to provide the 8-0 final. 

Notes:
- Lavallee fanned three and scattered five hits in five innings to improve to 9-2 on the season.
- It is the first time since the 2013 season SNHU has turned in three cosecutive shutouts. The Penmen last accomplished the feat on April 9 and 10, 2013 against Franklin Pierce University and Saint Michael's College.
- Garczynski reached base in each of her three trips to the plate, as she was 1-for-1 with two walks and a pair of runs scored.
- The top of the Southern New Hampshire lineup was nearly unstoppable on Wednesday. Hannan, Bolduc, Garczynski and Caruso combined to finish 7-for-11 with three walks, seven runs and four RBI.

What's Next:
Southern New Hampshire returns to the diamond on Saturday when it welcomes the College of Saint Rose (7-16, 2-5 NE-10) to the SNHU Softball Field for a doubleheader set to begin at noon.

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