NEWTON, Mass. – On Sunday afternoon, Mount Ida College wrapped up their 2016 home softball schedule with a 9-3 victory over Albertus Magnus College on a day in which the team supported "Coaches vs Cancer" while earning a split in their Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader against the Falcons.
The Mustangs wore tie-dyed rainbow t-shirts with the Coaches vs Cancer logo to recognize the many different types of cancer that we are all affected by. They also collected donations for the American Cancer Society on their final home game of the year.
The Falcons took the first game 4-2 before Mount Ida pounded out 11 hits and took advantage of five AMC miscues in the second contest.
Game Two: Mount Ida 9, Albertus Magnus 3
Mount Ida erased a 1-0 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed after that. Shortstop Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.) had three hits, including a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Kristina Stella (Revere, Mass.), Victoria Russo (Revere, Mass.) and Jenni Jackson (Marlborough, Mass.) each had two hits, with Jackson knocking in a pair of runs as well.
Brianna Whitfield (West Islip, N.Y.) accounted for all three RBIs for Albertus Magnus. Gillian Fortier (Naugatuck, Conn.) was 3-4 and scored on a sacrifice fly by Whitfield in the first, as six of the seven Falcons hits came from the top three in their lineup.
Whitfield scored two more runners with a single to left center in the second, but Mount Ida added another run in the fourth when Microulis singled home Michele MacDonald (N. Dighton, Mass.), who crossed the plate twice without the benefit of a hit.
Microulis tripled home MacDonald in the sixth and then scored when Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) stole second before Handzel crossed the plate herself on Jackson's single to center.
Handzel improved her record to 7-12 on the year, allowing two earned runs over seven innings and striking five with just one free pass.
Shyleen Ortiz (New Britain, Conn.) managed to last just the first inning and fell to 1-5 in the circle, allowing five hits and five runs before Megan Ferraro (Branford, Conn.) relieved her and gave up four runs over the next five innings of work.
Game One: Albertus Magnus 4, Mount Ida 2
Handzel struck out 12 batters, marking the fifth time this season that she has recorded double-digit strikeouts, and coming just three K's shy of her career best, a 15-strikeout performance against Emmanuel as a freshman.
Each team scored in their first ups of the game, with the Falcons plating a pair of runs on a single to left center by Daysia Wehder (Queens, N.Y.), and Mount Ida evening the score when Microulis hit a ground rule double down the left field line to plate Lucianna Medici (Riverside, R.I.) and MacDonald, who had two hits and stole two bases in the contest.
The only other damage, and the eventual game-winning hit, came in the top of the fifth when Melissa Castillo (Taftville, Conn.) scored two on a double to right center, giving Kristen Cunning (Hoboken, N.J.) all the insurance she needed to move to 5-2 on the year. Cunning allowed just four hits and hat one strikeout and one walk.
Despite her prolific strikeout numbers and her only allowing four hits herself, Handzel fell to 6-12 in game one.
Mount Ida has two more conference doubleheaders as they push for the GNAC postseason. That quest will continue on Friday when they travel to Rivier for a 4:00 pm contest.
The Falcons are at Saint Joseph (CT) this Wednesday at 3:00 pm and finish their regular season next Saturday by hosting Emmanuel.