Murrell goes deep twice, softball sweeps Franklin Pierce

MANCHESTER, N.H.Megan Murrell homered in both games and Sam Hennequin and Morgan Perry turned in strong performances in the circle, as the Saint Anselm College softball team swept Franklin Pierce University by identical 8-1 scores in a Northeast-10 Conference doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at South Athletic Fields.

Saint Anselm 8, Franklin Pierce 1 | Box

Hennequin limited Franklin Pierce (0-18, 0-8 NE10) to one run on just two hits and got plenty of run support as Saint Anselm (5-9, 3-3 NE10) claimed the opener. The senior, who entered the day leading the NE10 in strikeouts per seven innings (8.4), fanned seven batters to improve to 4-2 on the season.

Michaela Kane led the way offensively by going 3-for-3 with three runs scored, Murrell hit a two-run home run and Jordan O'Connor also knocked in a pair of runs.

Saint Anselm got on the board first in the bottom of the second, scoring two unearned runs. O'Connor lifted a fly ball down the right-field line that the right fielder dropped while crossing the line, allowing Kane and Maggie Murphy to score with O'Connor being gunned down at third.

The Hawks added single runs in the third and fourth to stretch their lead to 4-0. Shannon Colson walked to lead off the third, stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Shannon McLaughlin. In the fourth, Kane tripled over the right fielder's head and Leiandra Wilson followed with a double to the gap in right center to score Kane.

Hennequin was perfect through the first four innings until Cassidy Sorenson's single up the middle to start the fifth. After two outs, Dominique Bisaccia doubled Sorenson in for the Ravens' lone run of the game. Hennqeuin retired the final seven batters after Bisaccia's two-bagger.

Saint Anselm tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Murrell followed a McLaughlin double with a booming home run to right. With two outs, five-straight batters reached, including a two-run double to left center by O'Connor to complete the scoring.

Saint Anselm 8, Franklin Pierce 1 | Box

In game two, Saint Anselm matched its season high with 13 hits, led by four batters with multi-hit games, on its way to completing the sweep. Amanda Bickford raised her season average to .511 by going 4-for-4 with a run and three RBI and the junior now has at least one hit in 11 of the last 12 games.

In addition to Bickford's career-high four-hit game, Murrell was 3-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run, Colson went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI and O'Connor was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Morgan Perry limited Franklin Pierce to one unearned run on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts to pick up her first-collegiate victory. Perry matched Hennequin with her fifth complete game of the season for the Hawks.

The Ravens took an early 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the top of the first, but Saint Anselm quickly got the run back in the bottom of the frame. The Hawks' run came on a single off the bat of Murrell that got by the right fielder, allowing Bickford to score.

Bickford knocked in O'Connor for each of the next two runs of the game with infield singles in the second and fourth innings. Meanwhile, Perry retired 10-straight batters in the middle innings after being staked to a 3-1 lead.

Saint Anselm blew the game open with a five-run bottom of the fifth, beginning with a solo shot to right by Murrell. Erin Thompson delivered a run-scoring double, Colson plated a run with an infield single and Bickford knocked in her third run of the game with a single to left.

The Hawks and Ravens finish their regular-season series with a single game at Franklin Pierce on Wednesday, April 12 at 4 p.m.

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