Ravens Swing Hot Bats in Close Defeat to Merrimack

Cat Simmons (Photo Courtesy of Bryce Johnson)
Cat Simmons (Photo Courtesy of Bryce Johnson)

RINDGE, N.H. (April 18, 2019) – Franklin Pierce University softball freshman designated player Cat Simmons (Pine Plains, N.Y.) drove in a career and game-high four RBI as the Ravens lost a heartbreaking 14-9 decision to Northeast-10 Conference opponent Merrimack College Thursday afternoon on the Bisaccia Softball Complex. The win sends the Warriors to 19-21, 10-11 NE10 and 8-7 Northeast Division while the Ravens suffered their 28th defeat of the year, 18th in conference play and 13th divisional game.

Batting from the fifth slot in the lineup, Simmons turned in a career performance going 3-for-5 with a double, homer, two runs scored and four RBI. The round-tripper was her sixth of the season putting her in lone possession of third on the all-time home run list trailing Courtney Caputo (7) and Erin Wood (9) for second and first.

The contest saw 36 combined hits between the two programs as the Ravens set a season-high in runs scored (9) and hits (15).

Five other Ravens had multi-hit performances including center fielder Ashley Rosario (Queensbury, N.Y.) who was 2-for-4 with two RBI.

For Merrimack, center fielder Nicole Nanof was a perfect 3-for-3 at the dish with two doubles and three RBI. Two other Warriors chipped in three hits, Tiffany Mangiameli and second baseman Kelly Dovi. Third baseman Luciellia Colarusso provided a three-run tater in the victory. Starting pitcher Jenna Wike captured the win tossing four innings allowing two runs off five hits. She was replaced by three relievers that combined to let seven runs to score.

Mangiameli kicked off the game doubling into the left centerfield gap. The next batter reached off a dropped fly ball in left field moving Mangiameli to third. The Warrior starting shortstop tallied the first run when Hannah Johnson was caught stealing second base and Mangiameli ran home on the throw. With two away, Nanof pulled a bases-clearing double to left upping the edge to 3-0 early.

The Ravens tried to respond in the bottom of the first when shortstop Jess Rego (Richmond, R.I.) slapped a two-bagger to right centerfield. She advanced to third base, but could not score off a fly out to center and left field to end the frame.

Mack tacked on two runs in the top of the second. Dovi and Mangiameli stood on first and second base due to singles while Johnson worked a one-out walk. Right fielder Abigail Amato dug into the box and singled through the left side scoring one run keeping the bases juiced for Caitlin McBride who hit a sac fly to center advancing her squads margin to 5-0.

Raven starting lefty Amelia Mamone (Averill Park, N.Y.) kept the deficit at 5-0 thanks to some key pitching in the top of the third. Following a leadoff double and an advance to third off a 4-3 groundout. Mamome promptly stranded the runner in scoring position off a called third strike and a swinging strikeout to end the inning.

In the top of the fourth, the Warriors took a commanding 11-0 lead. Two quick outs happened and an Amato single to left center and a high chop single through the left side by McBride resulted in Colarusso's towering bomb to left center upping their lead to 8-0. Mack's two-out hitting continued with a single, an RBI single, another single and a bases-clearing two-RBI double off the stick of Dovi grew the score to 11-0.

The Ravens chipped into the margin in the bottom of the fourth. Conway dropped in a single to shallow center field to begin the inning. Simmons stepped to the plate and smoked a moonshot the opposite way making it an 11-2 game.

Holding a nine-run lead looking to run-rule the Ravens, Merrimack made a ton of positional changes in the top of the fifth and bottom of the frame including taking starting pitcher Wilke out. Bridget Soraghan entered the circle and was wild as ever issuing a four-pitch walk to her first batter. She was immediately rocked by the Ravens offense for five runs, on five hits in two-thirds of an inning. Conway roped a double to center as Pierce had two runners in scoring position with one away. Simmons plated two runs making it an 11-4 game. Three more runs crossed the plate for FPU, one on a first baseman Lexi Garcia (Sylmar, Calif.) single to left center and two more when Rosario poked an opposite-field single down the right-field line.

Merrimack tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the sixth off an RBI single, fielder's choice and hit by pitch. Behind 14-8 during their final at-bats. The Ravens attempted one final comeback. Left fielder Caitlyn Munzing (Beverly, Mass.) was hit by the first pitch she saw. Rego singled to left and second baseman Kaitlyn Rooney (Shirley, Mass.) walked to load the bases. Raven catcher Allie Martinez (Upland, Calif.) singled to second base knocking home one run. Simmons had an opportunity to pull the Ravens within one with two outs, however, she grounded to third for the final out.

Franklin Pierce and Merrimack resume their series on Monday, April 22nd with times TBD.

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://fpuravens.com). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce softball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://fpuravens.com). You can also follow the softball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPUSoftball_) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpu_ravens_softball).