Junior Megan Staudle's two-run homer in the sixth was the difference in Stonehill's 2-0 win at Southern New Hampshire this afternoon.
Skyhawks post second win over nationally-ranked opponent this spring
MANCHESTER, N.H. (April 17, 2015) – Junior Megan Staudle (New Windsor, New York/Cornwall Central) hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning and classmate Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Connecticut/Rocky Hill) tossed 6.2 shutout frames to lead Stonehill College to a 2-0 victory at Southern New Hampshire University, ranked 24th in this week's National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division II Poll, this afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball action at Penmen Field.
Ruonavaara struck out six batters and allowed five hits, improving to 4-2 this season with the win. Junior Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Massachusetts/Acton-Boxborough) entered the game in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and the potential tying run at the plate, and retired the final batter to earn her second career save.
Southern New Hampshire senior Ali Maloof (Norwood, Massachusetts/Norwood), who entered this afternoon's action with a perfect 13-0 record this season and a 1.54 earned run average, took her first loss after striking out six and giving up two runs on five hits.
Junior Megan Ruonavaara improved to 4-2 with the win after striking out six and allowing five hits over 6.2 scoreless innings.
Sophomore Cassandra Squeri (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) went 2-for-3 at the plate for the Skyhawks, while juniors Katherine Melanson (Danvers, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) and Emily Padilla (Wappingers Falls, New York/Roy C. Ketcham) recorded one hit each.
Stonehill went down in order in the top of the first, and Southern New Hampshire was unable to score in its half of the inning despite getting singles from Maloof and junior Lindsey Bolduc (Londonderry, New Hampshire/Londonderry).
Both teams were held to singles in the second and third innings, before going down in order in the fourth and fifth. Stonehill finally broke the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth, as Padilla led off with a single to right field before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Staudle gave the Skyhawks a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer to left field, her second of the season.
Ruonavaara retired the Penmen in order in the sixth, and got the first out of the seventh before sophomore Erin Morrissey (Commack, New York/Commack) reached base with a single up the middle. Ruonavaara then struck out freshman Brittany Perdigao (Stoughton, Massachusetts/Coyle & Cassidy) for the second out of the inning, before giving way to Ropiak, who induced a groundout to end the contest.
Stonehill's victory this afternoon was its second over a nationally-ranked opponent this spring, as the Skyhawks edged No. 23 West Virginia Wesleyan College 3-2 in their season-opener in Clermont, Florida on March 8th.
Stonehill (14-10, 8-4 NE-10) and Southern New Hampshire (21-6, 10-3 NE-10) will cap their three-game series tomorrow afternoon with a doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for noon at Penmen Field.