NEWTON, Mass. – Junior Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) threw a no-hitter and Mount Ida College picked up one win to earn a split against local rivals Lasell College in the team's Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Mount Ida Softball Field.
Strangely enough, the two didn't happen in the same game.
The Mustangs, behind another stellar pitching performance from Handzel, won game two 5-0 after the latter's no-no was spoiled by a 2-1, eight inning win by the Lasers in the opening contest.
This was Handzel's second no-hitter as a Mustang, with her first coming on April 14, 2014 when she also broke the record for strikeouts in a season. That year she ended up with 144 strikeouts, and is on pace to break that mark again this year with 134 K's already.
Game One: Lasell 2, Mount Ida 1, 8 innings
Handzel struck out nine batters without allowing a walk or a hit, but was stung by a pair of hit batters and two Mustang errors, along with ten runners left on base by the Mount Ida lineup.
The Mustangs struck early against Lydia Lewis-Hicks (Seekonk, Mass.), who, despite giving up ten hits, struck out five and walked just one while improving to 2-0 on the year.
The Lasers tied the game in the top of the seventh when Erin Smith (Gorham, Maine) reached on a muffed throw to start the inning. With two outs, Smith stole third, and then after Erin Larghi (Wakefield, R.I.) was hit by a pitch, a double-steal allowed Lasell to tie the game, while Handzel kept her no-hitter intact.
Microulis hit a one-out double in the bottom of the seventh, but was thrown out going too far off third base for the final out of the inning on a single to left by Weston.
In the top of the eighth, placed pinch runner Marissa Spivey (Brockton, Mass.) went to third on a sacrifice bunt and then scored on a strange passed ball that appeared to hit batter Mazie Baldarelli (Fitchburg, Mass.).
Though Handzel finished the frame with her no-hitter still good and both runs unearned, and despite Weston reaching third with no-outs in the bottom of the eighth, Mount Ida couldn't get the tying run home with a fly out and two pop outs to end the game.
Game 2: Mount Ida 5, Lasell 0
Handzel tossed a complete-game, two-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and Mount Ida struck for three runs in the second inning and rapped out ten more hits en route to the game two victory.
Microulis had two more hits and an RBI, Michele MacDonald (N. Dighton, Mass.) was aboard twice and scored a run, and Handzel drove a single that was misplayed into two bases to allow Sam Laferriere (Tewksbury, Mass.) to come in during that three-run third.
Morton and Microulis added RBI singles in the fourth and sixth as the Mustangs got to Eileen Bergin (Arlington, Mass.) for five runs, four of them earned.
Mackenzie Madden (Mashpee, Mass.) had both hits for Lasell, while Smith stole a pair of bases in the loss.
Mount Ida (7-17, 3-9 GNAC) travels to Johnson & Wales on Thursday evening for a 6:00 pm doubleheader that is being made up from earlier in the year.
Lasell (6-16, 3-9 GNAC) heads to Gordon College on Tuesday to play a 3:30 pm non-conference twinbill.