Softball: Gibbs’ Grand Slam Powers Merrimack
- Updated: March 20, 2014
CLERMONT, Fla. – Powered by a two home-run, five-RBI performance by junior Lindsay Gibbs(Acton, Mass.), the Merrimack College softball team exacted revenge against Slippery Rock with a 6-4 victory before dropping close contests to Illinois Springfield and Minot State as part of a NTC Spring Games tripleheader on Wednesday in Florida.
Records: Merrimack (4-10) | Slippery Rock (4-8) | Ill.-Springfield (9-9) | Minot St. (12-5)
Location: Hancock Park | Clermont, Fla.
How It Happened
Game 1 – Merrimack 6, Slippery Rock 4
Two days removed from a one-run loss to the very same Slippery Rock squad, Merrimack used a six-run inning to erase a 3-0 deficit and hung on for a 6-4 victory in Wednesday’s opener.
Gibbs was the star of the show, clearing the bases with her first career grand slam to highlight a six-run fifth inning for the Warriors. Seniors Keaira Monet Perry (Bellingham, Mass.) andAshley Perry (Winchendon, Mass.) got the Warriors on the board with a sacrifice fly and RBI single, respectively, to set up Gibbs’ blast.
Equipped with a three-run lead, sophomore Alexis Perry (Westford, Vt.) held on over the final two innings while finishing with six strikeouts and just one walk and two earned runs allowed to pick up the victory in the circle.
Game 2 – Illinois Springfield 3, Merrimack 2
Leading by one entering the bottom of the seventh, Merrimack watched its lead evaporate, as Illinois Springfield stunned the Warriors with two tallies in the bottom of the seventh, as Merrimack suffered a walk-off setback in Game 2 on Wednesday.
Both sides would put up a run apiece in the first, starting with senior Jaclyn Giovannini(Plano, Texas), who drove in Ashley Perry with a run-scoring single before Illinois Springfield answered in the home half of the inning to tie it.
That 1-1 deadlock held until the top of the fourth, when Gibbs ripped her second long ball of the day into straightaway center field for a solo shot, putting the Warriors ahead by one (2-1).
Freshman Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) was rolling along with six strikeouts and only three walks allowed over six innings before getting into trouble in the bottom of the seventh; with two runners on and one out, the rookie right-hander yielded the game-tying run and gave way to Alexis Perry, who came on in relief.
But Illinois Springfield managed a groundout and loaded the bases with a walk before the final batter singled into left to end it.
Game 3 – Minot State 6, Merrimack 1
After combining for 13 hits and eight runs over the first two games of the day, Merrimack’s bats were limited to just a run and six hits in Wednesday’s finale, as the Warriors fell, 6-1, to Minot State to conclude the day’s tripleheader.
Merrimack’s lone run came in the bottom of the second after senior Kelsey Francher (Weare, N.H.) stole home in the midst of a rundown, but that Minot State set the tone early with three runs in the top of the first and tacked on one more each in the second, sixth and seventh, as starting pitcher Mindy Lorimo limited the Warrior offense to six hits and one run allowed over 6 1/3 innings.
Francher led the way with two hits at the dish, while freshman Mariah Tenney (Winchendon, Mass.) wound up with seven innings of work in the circle and finished with a pair of strikeouts for the Warriors.
The Warriors conclude their weeklong stay in Florida with one final doubleheader against regional and East Coast Conference (ECC) foe NYIT tomorrow (March 20) morning. First pitch in Game 1 is set for 9 a.m.