Stonehill Holds Off Merrimack For 7-6 Victory

Sophomore Michelle Carbone went 2-for-4 with a two-run double in Stonehill's 7-6 win at Merrimack this afternoon.

Sophomore Michelle Carbone goes 2-for-4 with two-run double

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (April 16, 2015) – Stonehill College held off a late rally by Merrimack College to earn a 7-6 victory this afternoon in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball action at the Warrior Softball Diamond.

Stonehill led 5-2 after five innings, but the Warriors twice pulled to within one run of tying the contest, including in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Sophomore Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, New York/St. Anthony's) led the Skyhawks at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while junior Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Connecticut/Rocky Hill) walked twice and hit a solo home run and classmate Megan Staudle (New Windsor, New York/Cornwall Central) drove in a pair of runs. Junior Lauren Esposito (Middlefield, Connecticut/Coginchaug) walked, singled, and scored two runs, and classmate Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Massachusetts/Acton-Boxborough) chipped in with two singles and two runs.

Ropiak also got the start in the circle and earned the win to improve to 8-5 after giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits through 5.1 innings. Carbone came on in relief of Ropiak and struck out three batters over the final 1.2 frames to earn the save.

Senior Stephanie Lapierre (Berlin, Connecticut/Berlin) was among three Warriors to record multiple hits with her 2-for-3 effort, including a walk and a two-run home run. Sophomore Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Connecticut/Haddam Killingworth) went 2-for-3 with one RBI, while classmate Kaleigh Finigan (Medford, Massachusetts/St. Mary's) drove in two runs and senior Becca Armstrong (Methuen, Massachusetts/Methuen) added two singles.

Junior Megan Ruonavaara gave the Skyhawks a 1-0 lead in the second inning with her second home run of the season.

Junior Alexis Perry (Westford, Vermont/Essex) took the loss for Merrimack after going the distance and giving up seven runs (four earned) on six hits while striking out five and walking three.

Ruonavaara staked the Skyhawks to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second with a solo home run, her second of the season, but the Warriors tied the score in the third on a sacrifice fly by Finigan.

Stonehill regained the lead in the fifth, plating four runs despite recording just two hits. The Skyhawks loaded the bases with one out, scoring twice with the help of an error before Carbone drove in two more runs with a double down the left field line.

The Warriors got one run back in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by Finigan, before scoring twice in the sixth to cut their deficit to one, as junior Brittany Razo (Anaheim, California/Canyon) and Waskowitz each delivered RBI singles.

Stonehill added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh and carried a 7-4 lead into the final half inning, but the Warriors would put together one more rally. Armstrong singled with one out, and two batters later Lapierre homered to right center field, cutting the Skyhawks' lead to one for the second time in two innings. Razo came up next with an opportunity to tie the game, but Carbone struck her out to end the contest.

Stonehill (13-10, 7-4 NE-10) will head to Manchester, New Hampshire tomorrow to open a huge three-game divisional series with Southern New Hampshire University, which is currently ranked No. 24 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Poll. Merrimack (14-21, 7-10 NE-10) is off tomorrow before traveling to Colchester, Vermont on Saturday to open a three-game series at Saint Michael's College.

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