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NCAA Softball: Hawks fly in NCAAs

May 12. 2018 11:31PM
St. Anselm's Morgan Perry pitches in Thursday's game against Merrimack College in Goffstown. Perry won that game, and she won Saturday's NCAA regional final game, also against Merrimack. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

St. Anselm College's softball team is headed to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Division II Softball Championship for the first time ever after Saturday's win over Merrimack College, 4-3, in the East 2 Regional on Saturday in Goffstown.

St. Anselm will face either Adelphi or LIU Post in the Super Regionals on Thursday and Friday.

Needing two wins on the day to win the regional, Merrimack (33-16) scored three first-inning runs to lead 3-0 early, but Saint Anselm (39-10-1) rallied to score the game's final four runs and advance to the Super Regionals.

Merrimack, needing two wins over the Hawks to secure the regional title. scored three in the first inning off starter and winner Morgan Perry, but Amanda Bickford of Salem provided the go-ahead two-run double in a three-run fourth inning and sophomore Perry did not allow a run after the first inning to earn her school-record 21st victory of the season.

Bickford was 3-for-4. Lauren Washburn went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs, while Shannon McLaughlin and Madison Borrelli of Salem each drove in runs with base hits and scored a run apiece.

Perry went the distance in the circle, allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.

Northeast-10 Conference Pitcher of the Year Megan Cook yielded four runs over a complete game and also went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run at the plate for Merrimack. Cook, who worked all 28 of her team's innings at the three-day regional, fell to 25-7 for the season with the loss.

As the designated home team, the Warriors jumped on Perry in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 3-0 lead. Nicole Nanof, of Goffstown, singled with one out and came around to score the game's first run on a RBI double to the gap in right center by Alyssa Williamson. Cook, the next batter, homered to left to bring in two more.

The Hawks got one of the runs back in the top of the second on a two-out RBI double by McLaughlin off the glove of a sliding Kristina Terrazzano, of Pelham, near the right-field line.

In the fourth, with runners on first and second and two outs, Borrelli singled to left field to score Washburn and Bickford followed with a line-drive, two-run double to left center to score Borrelli and McLaughlin.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Warriors loaded the bases with two outs on a pair of errors and a walk, but Perry struck out Nanof swinging to end the threat.

Perry appeared in all three of her team's games at the regional, going 2-0 with a save and a 1.31 ERA. The sophomore struck out 23 batters over 16 innings and went the distance in each of her two starts.

Of the six games at the regional, St. Anselm's 3-1 win over Southern New Hampshire on Friday was the lone game not to be decided by a single run.

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