NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Despite the Falcons having a 9-6 advantage in hits, the four-game winning streak of the Bentley University softball team came to an end as Merrimack College prevailed 5-1 in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division action Monday afternoon at the Warrior Softball Diamond.
The loss dropped the Falcons (13-12, 5-4 Northeast) into fifth in the division, a half-game behind the Warriors (14-16, 7-5 Northeast).
Merrimack scored a pair of unearned runs in the second inning to take a lead it would never relinquish. There was only one hit in an inning that also included a walk, a wild pitch, a hit batter, a fielding error and a passed ball on a strikeout.
Bentley's only run of the afternoon came in the third when sophomore catcher Jill Raia (Montville, N.J./Morristown-Beard School) led off with a home run to left center, the first of her career.
A throwing error on a sacrifice bunt in the fifth led to another unearned run and Merrimack broke the game open with a two-run double by freshman third baseman Kaleigh Finigan (Medford) in the bottom of the sixth.
That came after Bentley had left the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. The Falcons stranded a total of nine in the game and were just one of seven with runners in scoring position.
Bentley's nine hits included two by senior first baseman Samantha Tierney (Wappingers Falls, N.Y./Roy C. Ketchum HS).
Sophomore Alexis Perry (Westford, Vt.) earned the win for Merrimack, her seventh of the year, after allowing seven hits and one run in 5.1 innings of work, and freshman Haley Currie (Burlington) got the final five outs to record the save.
Freshman Kelsey Smith (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant HS) took the loss for Bentley despite striking out a career-high seven in five innings.
Bentley is back in action Wednesday with a 3 pm doubleheader at Assumption College.