WALTHAM, Mass. – A two-run fourth inning proved to be the difference as the Stonehill College Skyhawks edged Bentley University, 2-1, in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball Thursday afternoon at Bentley.
Bentley scored the game's first run in the second inning. Junior second baseman Julia Slavin (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill HS) singled to center with one out and moved into scoring position on a two-out single by junior right fielder Sami Palazzolo (East Williston, N.Y./Wheatley School). Sophomore catcher Lindsey Allen (Worcester/Worcester Technical HS) delivered the team's third hit of the inning, a single to left that scored Slavin.
In the fourth, Stonehill senior second baseman Sophie Perez (Bridgewater) reached on an error and moved to third on a single to center by sophomore designated player Genna Hartman (East Granby, Conn.). The ball was mishandled, allowing Hartman to move to second.
Sophomore center fielder Gianna Azzato (East Meadow, N.Y.) hit into a fielder's choice, but Perez beat the throw home to score the tying run. Azzato stole second and when the ensuing throw was not handled, Hartman scored what proved to be the deciding run.
Bentley had numerous opportunities, stranding eight including four in scoring position. The Falcons had the bases loaded with no outs in the third and runners on the corners, also with no outs, in the fifth, in addition to leaving two on in the second.
Bentley's seven hits included two apiece from Allen and junior center fielder Juliana Romeo (Greenfield, R.I./Smithfield HS). Stonehill's nine hits included three from Genna Hartman and two more from junior catcher Julia Hartman (Salisbury).
Junior Katherine Rayner (Milton, Vt.) pitched a complete game for Stonehill, with two walks and six strikeouts. Bentley received three scoreless innings of relief from sophomore lefty Kayleigh Fitzpatrick (East Hampstead, N.H./Timberland Reg. HS).
Bentley dropped to 10-19 overall and 2-6 in NE10 Northeast games after playing its 11th one-run game of the season. Stonehill, 8-18 overall with all eight wins earned by Rayner, improved to 3-6 in division games.
Bentley will play a three-game series at Franklin Pierce this weekend, beginning with a doubleheader at noon Saturday.