Quintana's home run gives Salve Regina split with Endicott
NEWPORT, R.I. - Freshman Jillian Quintana (Denver, Colo.) launched a two-out, three-run home run over the center field wall to give the Salve Regina University softball team a 7-5 win and a split of its doubleheader with Endicott College Tuesday afternoon in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) action at Toppa Field.
The Gulls (10-10, 5-5 TCCC) - who took game one 4-1 - carried a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth in game two before an error by senior shortstop Jenna Lazar (Milton, Mass.) opened the floodgates for the Seahawks. Senior Christina Walsh (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) reached on Lazar's error, and Quintana followed with a single to left. Sophomore Kristen Parolise (Hamden, Conn.) stroked a single to centerfield that scored Walsh and made it 4-1. A popup by senior starting pitcher Sarah Jakiela (Meriden, Conn.) was dropped by junior second baseman Jill Wiseman (Holden, Mass.), allowing both Quintana and Parolise to score and make it 4-3. Freshman Zeena Barbarita (Johnston, R.I.) then tied the game at four with a double that scored Jakiela.
The Gulls grabbed a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh on a two-out RBI single by junior Hayley Hovhanessian (Farmington, Conn.), but the Seahawks answered the bell one more time in their half of the frame. With freshman Ali Muehlbronner (Glenside, Pa.) on first and Courtney Fleming (Wethersfield, Conn.) on third, Quintana blasted the final pitch of the game from freshman Kayla Carignan (Laconia, N.H.) over the fence in center field, giving the Seahawks just their fifth win in 27 all-time meetings with Endicott.
"This is my first win against Endicott, as well as our seniors," said Salve Regina head coach Kerri Scroope. "Jill's been so clutch for us all year. This is a big win for us. We've faced a lot of adversity, and our kids have hung tough. To knock off a team that has been so successful is pretty awesome, and I think things are starting to go our way. I couldn't be prouder of Sarah Jakiela. She's an incredible athlete who has altered her mechanics numerous times this season. We seem to wait until the sixth and seventh innings to start hitting the ball, but we knew Jill would come through for us."
Jakiela evened her record at 6-6 with the win, allowing eight hits and five runs (three earned) while walking five and striking out four. Carignan took the loss to fall to 6-4 on the season, allowing eight hits and seven runs - all unearned - in 6.2 innings of work.
In game one, the Gulls grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when senior Megan Downey (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) led off with a walk and came around to score on a sac bunt by classmate Merry MacDonald (Braintree, Mass.). The Seahawks evened the score in their half of the inning. Muehlbronner laced a triple to start the inning - the first extra-base hit of her career - and scored on a sac bunt by Fleming.
In the second, Hovhanessian reached on an error and later scored on a single by freshman Krista Fales (Melrose, Mass.). Lazar singled and scored on an error in the third to make it 3-1 in favor of Endicott, and the visitors tacked on another run in the fourth on another sac bunt by Fales.
Junior Jenna Bortolotti (Milton, Mass.) allowed just two hits and one run while striking out three over seven innings of work en route to earning her fourth win of the season. Jakiela allowed three hits and four runs (two earned) while striking out five in seven innings of work for the Seahawks.
In the nightcap, sophomore Katharine McGann (Topsfield, Mass.) staked the Gulls to a 2-0 lead when she stroked a double to left-center, scoring junior Ashley Wright (Merrimack, N.H.). On the play, McGann came around to score on a fielding error by Barbarita. Endicott added an unearned run in the fifth to push its lead to 3-0 as MacDonald reached on a throwing error by Barbarita to open the inning and scored on a bunt by McGann. Two batters later, Fales plated McGann with the Gulls fourth run of the afternoon.
The Seahawks (7-7, 2-4 TCCC) return to action on Thursday when they travel to Nichols for a TCCC doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. The Gulls host Wheaton College for a pair tomorrow beginning at 3 p.m.