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Mercy Rallies to Pick Up Sweep Over Softball

Maddy Pepke vs. Hilbert on March 20, 2021.
Maddy Pepke vs. Hilbert on March 20, 2021.

After shutting out the D'Youville softball team in the first game of a doubleheader, East Coast Conference foe Mercy used three sixth-inning runs to come back and take the nightcap, finishing off a Friday afternoon sweep in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. The Mavericks held the Saints scoreless, 8-0, in the five-inning opener, before edging their guests by a 4-3 score in game two.

Mercy used Friday's sweep to move to 4-2 on the campaign, holding a 4-0 mark in the ECC standings, while D'Youville shifted to 7-5 overall and a 2-4 record in league play.

GAME ONE RECAP

The Mavericks opened the scoring in an unconventional way in the bottom of the first, as a double steal allowed Alexis Crawford to score. Mercy added on another first-inning run when it traded an out for a run, with Hannah Mueller advancing home when Danielle Burgos was caught stealing.

Mueller provided two more runs in the second, doubling to drive home a pair. A D'Youville error off a batted ball from Burgos later in the frame brought Mueller in, extending the Mercy lead to 5-0.

Crawford singled home the sixth Mercy run in the third, bringing Sydney Johnston in from third base.

The Mavericks would cap off their offensive output in the fifth, as Crawford had another RBI single before Hailey Puglia stole home later in the inning to end the game via the eight-run rule.

Alexi Benson (2-0) dominated the Saints lineup to earn the win, allowing two hits to junior second baseman Maddy Pepke and no-hitting the rest of the D'Youville bats while piling up eight strikeouts in five innings.

Senior righty Alexa Haberer was handed her second loss of the season, allowing six runs (five earned) in 2.2 innings of work. Freshman Lauren Booth entered in relief, giving up two unearned runs in two innings in the circle.

GAME TWO RECAP

D'Youville was the first side to strike in a low-scoring nightcap, as both teams were held scoreless through the first three frames before senior pitcher Brittaney Goodrich ripped a fourth-inning single to center field that brought her battery-mate, sophomore catcher Jamie Bower, around to score.

The Saints tallied two more runs in the fifth, as a bases-loaded walk to senior shortstop Rachel Colan scored junior Mikaela Milleville. A passed ball later in the inning allowed Pepke to cross home to give the Saints a 3-0 advantage.

Mercy cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, as Crawford was caught stealing but Alyssa Guzman reached home on the play.

The sixth inning would prove to be the turning point in the contest, as Samantha Franck smashed a single down the right field line to knock in two runs and even the score. Guzman put the dagger in D'Youville later in the frame, bringing home Franck on a single to right that gave Mercy their first and final lead of the contest. The Saints were unable to answer in the seventh, being retired in order by Catherine Zucker to end the game.

Zucker (1-0) picked up the win after working 2.2 no-hit innings in relief of Jessica Becchetti, who allowed three runs in 4.1 innings after getting the start.

Goodrich (2-3) was saddled with the loss, surrendering four late runs across six innings in the complete-game effort.

Notables – Pepke now has seven multi-hit contests this season after collecting two hits in each game on Friday … This was the first time Haberer has not thrown a complete game since May 4, 2019 at Pitt-Bradford … Game two was the first time this season where Pepke did not bat in the leadoff spot for D'Youville, sliding to the two-hole in the nightcap … The Saints stranded 12 runners on Friday, compared to eight left on base by Mercy.

Up Next – Saturday's doubleheader at St. Thomas Aquinas has been postponed due to the Spartans being on a COVID-19 pause. The Saints are set to play their first home doubleheader of ECC play on Friday, April 9, when D'Youville hosts Bridgeport at Dobson Field. First pitch is set for noon.