STANDISH, Maine – The Norwich University softball team split a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader on Saturday afternoon vs. St. Joseph's College (Maine).
Norwich (5-5, 3-3 GNAC) won the first game of the day with a 6-2 victory over the Monks to briefly extend its winning streak to five straight games. However, St. Joseph's Maine (5-11, 1-3 GNAC) came back with a vengeance in Game 2 to mercy rule Norwich 10-1 in five innings.
Senior Olivia Bussiere (Northfield, Vt.) went 3-for-4 at the plate with a RBI to lead the Cadets' offense in Game 1. Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.), Makenna Wade (Pensacola, Fla.) and Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) each chipped in with two hits apiece as well.
Oliver threw another strong complete-game in the circle, going all seven innings and giving up two earned runs while scattering seven hits and striking out one. She improved to 3-2 on the year and picked up her third straight win.
After each team scored twice in the first inning, Norwich seized control of the game with two runs each in the top of the third and fourth to take the 6-2 lead that it would hold for the remainder of the game.
Wade broke the 2-2 tie with a ground out to the pitcher that scored Rinaldo from third. Bussiere followed up with a RBI single to center field to score Oliver. Sarah Perry (New Bedford, Mass.) reached on an error in the fourth that allowed Katie Reid (Gold Canyon, Ariz.) to score on the play.
Rinaldo doubled to left field to score Perry for the game's final run in the fourth as well.
Rinaldo scored Perry with a fly out to right field in the first inning and then Madelyn Folcik (Wilmot, N.H.) scored on an Oliver ground out.
Saint Joseph's got both of its runs in the bottom of the first inning courtesy of a Maizie Lee two-RBI double.
In Game 2, St. Joseph's Maine took control with two runs in the bottom of the first inning and then five more in the bottom of the second inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead.
The Monks tacked on three more in the bottom of the third before Norwich was able to get one back in the top of the fifth with Jenna Sprague (Brookfield, Vt.) notching her second collegiate RBI to score Brittany Vandergroef (Lodi, N.J.).
However, it was too little too late as the Monks finished off the 10-1 victory in five innings to mercy-rule the Cadets.
Norwich managed six hits in the game, but it couldn't string together enough to muster enough offense to keep up with the Monks.
Sarah Perry took the loss giving up four earned runs to fall to 2-3. Sprague came on and threw two innings of scoreless relief.
Norwich returns home to Sabine Field where it will put its undefeated home record on the line against a tough Suffolk University squad on Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in another GNAC doubleheader.