NEWTON, Mass. – Mount Ida College began a busy weekend of Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball action on Friday afternoon, but were bested by Suffolk University in both ends of a doubleheader at Mount Ida Softball Field.
The Rams grabbed the first game 7-5 and then took the second by an 8-4 margin to sweep the conference tilt and send the Mustangs (6-14) to a 2-6 conference mark.
Game One: Suffolk 7, Mount Ida 5
The Mustangs grabbed the lead in the first inning and then again in the fourth, but three-run frames for Suffolk in the fifth and sixth innings led to the victory for the visitors.
Designated player Jill Pulek (Cheshire, Conn.) went 3-4 for the Rams with three RBIs and a run scored, while first baseman Lindsay Pagano (Wyckoff, N.J.) also had three hits, scored a run, and picked up an RBI.
Microulis gave the Mustangs the lead with an RBI double to left field in the bottom of the first, and Mount Ida scored twice more in the fourth after an RBI single by McKenzie McGrath (Exeter, N.H.) had tied the game for Suffolk.
Pulek touched up starter Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) for a two-run single to center field in the top of the fifth, and Pagano singled her home with an infield single the same inning. Pulek ground-rule doubled another run in in a three-run sixth for the Rams, and a base-scoring single by Medici in the sixth was all of the offense Mount Ida could muster in a comeback effort.
Handzel fell to 4-8 on the year despite striking out eight batters, while Jaclyn Flint (Medfield, Mass.) earned her first collegiate win (1-0) with three and two-thirds innings in relief of Suffolk starter Taylor Holmes (Ashford, Conn.).
The Rams outhit Mount Ida 12-9, and each team made four miscues, leading to Suffolk's pitching giving up just one earned run.
Game Two: Suffolk 8, Mount Ida 4
Microulis bagged three more hits and drove in three runs, but Mount Ida made six errors and Microulis allowed five earned runs over four innings pitched to fall to 2-6 on the season in the circle.
Again, the Mustangs struck first with a Microulis double in the bottom of the first to score Michele MacDonald (N. Dighton, Mass.), but the Rams scored twice in the second, once in the third, and busted the game open with four in the fifth.
Right fielder Devlin Frost (Tewksbury, Mass.) and McGrath each had two hits, with McGrath knocking in a pair of runs and Frost scoring twice.
Each of them knocked doubles, as did Flint, this time playing at shortstop, who scored a run on a double-steal in the top of the fifth, an inning that included RBI singles by Frost and McGrath as well.
Mount Ida tried to get back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, but a bases-loaded two-run single by Microulis and a throwing error that scored Handzel on a double-steal play weren't enough, and Morgan Parmeter (Maynard, Mass.) added an RBI single in the top of the sixth to bring the Rams' lead back to four.
Handzel came on in relief of Microulis and threw the final three innings, allowing three hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
Sophomore Ali Yamakaitis (Avenel, N.J.) improved to 5-2 on the year for Suffolk, giving up just two earned runs in five innings. She struck out three, walked two and gave up five hits, while Kim Crucioli (North Andover, Mass.) pitched two solid innings of relief with no runs allowed and three strikeouts.
A six-game weekend in the GNAC continues tomorrow when Mount Ida heads to Emmanuel for a 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm doubleheader.
Suffolk (14-4, 5-1 GNAC) travels to Johnson & Wales tomorrow at the same time for their own conference showdown.