MANCHESTER, N.H. – Saint Anselm College senior shortstop Nicole Boucher (Woonsocket, R.I.) scored the only run of the game after leading off the sixth inning with a double to right, lifting the Hawks to a 1-0 win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball Thursday afternoon at the South Athletic Field.
Saint Anselm improved to 24-12 overall and a division-best 13-5 in the Northeast. Bentley's third straight loss dropped the Falcons to 17-17 overall and 9-9 in the division, a game-back of fourth-place Stonehill in the battle for a postseason berth.
Bentley sophomore Kelly Ferris (Seymour, Conn./Seymour HS) and Saint Anselm junior righty Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine) engaged in a scoreless pitching duel through five-and-a-half innings. Trask, the conference-leader in ERA, finished with a four-hit shutout while notching her 14th win in 19 decisions. Ferris gave up five hits and saw her ERA drop to 1.67, fourth best in the NE-10.
In the decisive sixth, Boucher stole third after her lead-off double. Ferris got the next hitter to ground back to her, but sophomore second baseman Julie LeClair (Taunton, Mass.) followed with a single through the left side, bringing in Boucher from third.
Bentley left a runner on base in six of the seven innings, but never had two runners on base at one time. The team's best scoring chance came in the second with a two-out triple by senior center fielder Jackie Gauthier (Braintree, Mass./Braintree HS), but Trask escaped unscathed with a foul out.
Bentley will close out the regular season and try to get back into the playoff hunt with a three-game home series against St. Michael's College this weekend. A single game is scheduled for 1 pm Saturday and a noon doubleheader is on the slate for Sunday.