WALTHAM, Mass. – Saint Anselm College junior second baseman Julie LeClair (Taunton) slammed a three-run homer to left with two outs in the top of the ninth to give the Hawks a 6-3 extra-inning victory and a sweep of their Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division softball doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Bentley.
In the opener, Saint Anselm rode the dominating pitching of senior right-hander Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine) to a 4-0 victory. Trask, now 6-0 on the season, struck out 11 and allowed only one base runner, a clean single to left by freshman second baseman Catie Noons (North Dighton/Dighton-Rehoboth HS).
Trask's teammates gave her all the runs she would need before she threw her first pitch, scoring twice in the top of the first. Junior catcher Pattie Turner (Warwick, R.I.) hit a one-out triple and scored on a ground out. Later in the inning, senior third baseman Hannah Byrne (Lynn) singled and scored on a wild pitch.
Turner singled and scored on Byrne's sacrifice fly in the third, and the visitors completed their scoring in the fourth inning.
Game two saw Bentley battle back to tie the Hawks twice, 1-1 in the fifth and 2-2 in the eighth, before falling in the ninth. Following a one-out double by junior right fielder Emily Crannell (Wilmington HS) and an infield single by freshman center fielder Amanda Bickford (Salem, N.H.), LeClair cleared the bases with her fourth round tripper of the year.
Bentley threatened in the bottom of the ninth, putting two on with no out before senior lefty Paige Cormier (Rochester, N.H.) retired the next three in order for her third win in four decisions.
In the bottom of the fifth, facing a 1-0 deficit, Bentley got on the scoreboard for the first time in the doubleheader. Junior first baseman Morgan Mazone (Selkirk, N.Y./Bethlehem Central HS) reached on an infield single and scored on a two-out double to right by junior catcher Jill Raia (Montville, N.J./ Morristown-Beard School). Raia was the only Falcon to have two hits in the nightcap.
Saint Anselm regained the lead, on a two-run double by Byrne in the top of the eighth, but it only lasted until the bottom half of the inning when Bentley sophomore left fielder Kelsey Kennedy (Bedford, N.H./Bedford HS) countered with a two-run triple to center.
With a single in the second, Noons extended her hitting streak to nine, a stretch in which she's a sparkling 14-of-28 (.500).
Bentley will be back on its home field on Monday, taking on Stonehill at 2:30 pm before facing Saint Anselm in the series finale at 4:30 pm.