NASHUA, N.H. -- Mount Ida College will play for a spot in the 2016 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball playoffs on Saturday after sweeping Rivier University on Friday night, winning by scores of 6-1 and 6-2.
Nicole Handzel (Palmer, Mass.) and Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I.) each gave great outings in the circle, and Lucianna Medici (Riverside, R.I.) had five hits and drove in a run in each game as the Mustangs improved to 11-21 and 7-13 in the GNAC.
Game One: Mount Ida 6, Rivier 1
Medici went three for three and Handzel was dominant, striking out 12 batters and allowing just six hits and no walks in seven innings.
The Mustangs pounded out 13 hits and took advantage of five errors by the Raiders to get to starter Taylor Miller (Haverhill, Mass.), grabbing single runs in the third, fourth and sixth before putting up three insurance runs in the top of the seventh.
Emma Morton (Winchester, Mass.) knocked an RBI double to right center and Kristina Stella (Revere, Mass.) scored her with a single, then scored herself on a hit by freshman Jenni Jackson (Marlborough, Mass.).
Rivier's lone run came on a double by Shaylyn Freitas (Pelham N.H.) in the bottom of the third that scored Tori Dugan (Norwalk, Conn.) and at the time tied the game at one.
Game Two: Mount Ida 6, Rivier 2
It was Microulis's turn to shut down the Raider's lineup, as she allowed just two hits and one runs while striking out five over five innings to pick up her third win of the year.
Michele MacDonald (N. Dighton, Mass.) scored three times and Medici, Stella and Jackson had two hits apiece in game two, in which the Mustangs opened up a 5-0 lead in the fifth inning.
Seven more raiders errors led to five unearned runs against Rivier hurlers Jess Shanahan (Merrimack, N.H.), who started the game, and Kerri Hegarty (Tewksbury, Mass.).
Kathryn Mostone (Pelham, N.H.) and Mikayla Ramsdell (Salem, N.H.) had two hits apiece to account for all of the Rivier offense, with Ramsdell singling home Mostone in the bottom of the fifth and doubling her home in the seventh.
The Mustangs will play "road" games on their home softball field in Newton against Simmons on Saturday at 1:30 and 3:30 pm, with a sweep of that series earning them the #8 seed in the conference tourney.