WESTON, Mass. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) softball team meant business Sunday, riding the wave of momentum from their thrilling walk-off win one day ago, as they brought the bats and then some, sweeping a doubleheader with Regis College (RC) on the Regis Softball Field.
The Blue Jays (12-12, 3-1 GNAC) have won three of their last four games, while the Pride (3-17, 0-4 GNAC) have dropped their last four.
In game one, junior pitcher Amaria Sharon (Tolland, Conn.) continued her hot streak at the plate, hitting a grand slam in the third inning, putting the game out of reach, as the Blue Jays won under the mercy rule, 9-1, in five innings.
Sharon finished 4-for-4 with a grand slam, three singles, and five RBI. Four other Blue Jays drove in a run each, including senior center fielder Morgan Skoly (Vernon, Conn.), who finished 1-for-1 with a sacrifice fly, single, walk, and stolen base. Junior third baseman Ellery Rasmussen (Kingston, N.H.) led the way for the Pride, hitting 2-for-3 with two singles. Sophomore catcher Nikki Papadopoulos (Coventry, Conn.) drove in the sole run for RC, finishing 1-for-2.
Sharon allowed just one run (0 ER) on five hits in four innings, winning her fifth game of the season (5-3). Freshman pitcher Alyssa Ward (Webster, Mass.) was dealt the loss (0-6).
As Sharon continued to retire the side, USJ continued to add to its lead. After a two-run second inning, USJ exploded for a seven-run third, capped off with the grand slam from Sharon. Seven runs and six hits total in the inning gave the Blue Jays a 9-0 lead.
The Pride needed at least 2 runs by the end of the fifth to keep the game going. With the bases loaded and two outs, freshman pitcher Julia Annecchiarico (Ludlow, Mass.), who came in for relief, forced a fly out to end the game and the Blue Jays took home the win after five innings.
Game two showed just how balanced the Blue Jays attack can be when dialed in, as seven different players drove in a run in a 10-4 win.
Junior catcher McKenna Driscoll (Bristol, Conn.) led the way with two doubles, two runs, a walk and an RBI (3-4). Sophomore left fielder Alessandra Milardo (Plantsville, Conn.) finished 2-for-3 with a double, single and RBI. Freshman first baseman Sarah Fawcett (Londonderry, N.H.) drove in two with an RBI double, hitting 1-for-4 for RC.
Freshman pitcher Natalie Amato (Cheshire, Conn.) picked up another win (6-2), allowing four runs on 11 hits in a complete seven-inning effort. She also struck out eight. Junior pitcher Madi McLellan (Fremont, N.H.) allowed nine runs (7 ER) on 15 hits in five and a third in a losing effort (2-1).
The Pride were determined to change their fortunes in game two, taking a 3-2 lead after two innings, as Fawcett and senior left fielder Kelsey Grimard (Pelham, N.H.) both drove in runs.
Something awoke in the USJ dugout, as they answered with five runs over the next two innings to take a commanding 7-3 lead. Driscoll kicked things off in the third with an RBI double, and Milardo kicked it off in the fourth with an RBI double. Up 7-4 in the sixth, Skoly put the game away with a single to center, which ended with her on third base after a throwing error, and two more runs crossing home. Amato would not be denied her complete game in the seventh, retiring the side with a one-two-three final inning, and a sweep for the Blue Jays to cap off a busy weekend.
USJ is headed back home for another doubleheader on Wednesday, April 10, at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. against Pine Manor (MA). Regis plays another home doubleheader Wednesday at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. against Wentworth (MA).