New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College softball team split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader with Simmons on Saturday afternoon at Celentano Field. The Falcons scored a 5-3 triumph in the opener before the Sharks held off a late AMC rally to earn a 3-2 victory in the finale.
The loss in the nightcap snapped a four-game winning streak for Albertus Magnus. The Falcons enter the final week of the regular season with an 18-10 overall record and a 9-7 mark in league play, while Sharks are 12-15 on the spring and 5-10 in conference contests.
With an RBI single through the right side in the home half of the second, sophomore Gillian Fortier (Naugatuck, Conn.) became the ninth player in program history to register 100 career hits. She is the fastest to do so, accomplishing the feat in just 68 games.
Also in the frame, senior Alyssa Puccilli (Milford, Conn.) had an infield single that scored two runs thanks to smart base running by Fortier.
In the circle, Megan Ferraro (Branford, Conn.) earned her team-leading 11 win of the season, going to the distance and scattering eight hits to go along with a pair of strikeouts. Ferraro surrendered all three of her runs in the sixth frame, but bounced back with a one-two-three seventh to seal the win.
Later in the game, the Falcons would add insurance runs thanks to an RBI single up the middle by Daysia Wehder (Queens, N.Y.) and freshman Maxine Sanchez (Corona, N.Y.) would score on an illegal pitch in the sixth.
For the Sharks, freshman Taylor Lebrun led the offensive charge with two hits and two RBIs, while Mikaela Caracciolo also recorded a multi-hit game and Heather White chipped in an RBI double. First-year Tori Gomes was saddled with the loss, tossing five innings and surrendering four earned runs on 10 hits.
Trailing by one run in the bottom of the seventh, the Falcons saw the first three batters that came to the plate record hits to load the bases. With the tying run at third and no outs, Simmons starter Cat Record got Puccilli to line into an unassisted double play thanks to a nice play by Shark first basemen Juliet Nelson.
Record would get out of the jam by inducing a groundout to end the threat and the game. She went the distance to earn her second win of the spring. On the opposite side, Albertus Magnus junior pitcher Shyleen Ortiz (New Britain, Conn.) was saddled with the loss after throwing a complete game and surrendering zero earned runs. Ortiz scattered six hits and struck out four, while Simmons took advantage of a trio of Falcon errors.
All five runs in the contest were scored in the fifth inning. In the top half with the bases loaded and two outs, Caracciolo reached on an error and advanced to third on an errant throw that went out of play. While the Falcons threw the ball around, three Shark runners crossed the plate with unearned runs.
In the bottom half of the stanza, sophomore shortstop Brianna Whitfield (West Islip, N.Y.) lined an RBI single down the left-field line and two batters later Puccilli followed with a run-scoring single through the left side. With the tying run in scoring position, Record got out the jam by forcing a Falcon flyout.
Albertus Magnus concludes a busy weekend of conference play with a doubleheader at Mount Ida on Sunday that is slated to begin at noon. Last spring, the Falcons took both ends of a doubleheader at home against the Mustangs.