Softball Falls 5-3 To No. 3 Seed Merrimack

THE BASICS:

- Score: Merrimack 5, Assumption 3

- Records: Merrimack (25-22, 15-12 NE10), Assumption (22-21, 15-14 NE10)

- Location: North Andover, Mass. (Martone-Mejail Field)

- The Lead: Assumption jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first inning and extended their lead to 3-2 after the second, but the Hounds were unable to fight off Merrimack's comeback in the bottom of the sixth and fell 5-3.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

-  Assumption started the scoring early when Brooke Murphy (Salem, N.H./Salem High School) hit a double down the left field line in the first at bat of the game. Haley Drakoulakos (Lowell, Mass./Lowell High School) moved Murphy to second with a single before distracting the Warriors when she stole second that allowed Murphy to steal home on the throw. The Hounds led 1-0 when Victoria Petrie (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) forced an error that scored Drakoulakos and extended Assumption's lead to 2-0 after the first inning.

- In the top of the second the Hounds struck again when Alyssa Bialakis (Boca Raton, Fla./St. John Paul II Academy) hit a double to left field forcing the Warriors to switch pitchers. Mckenzie Richards (Cranston, R.I./Cranston High School East) moved Bialakis to third on a ground out before Murphy reached first on a fielder's choice that brought Bialakis around the bases and gave Assumption a 3-0 lead after two innings.

- Merrimack strung together a comeback in the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second with one out. A third single loaded the bases before Mia Nowicki (Chelsea, Mass./St. Mary's Lynn) caught a line drive to notch the second out. Jenna Wike of the Warriors hit a single to score the first run followed by a double from Kelly Dovi that scored everyone else on the bases to give Merrimack a 4-3 lead. Another single extended the lead to two (5-3) before Alyssa Beaton (Smithfield, R.I./Smithfield High School) ended the inning for the Hounds.

- Assumption was unable to get a runner on base in the top of the seventh and fell 5-3 in the first round of the NE10 Tournament.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Nowicki took the loss for Assumption, pitching six innings with one strikeout, no walks, nine hits and five runs with a total of 28 batters faced. She ended the season with a 15-10 record. Wike earned the win for Merrimack with six innings pitched and one strikeout, one walk and two hits.

- Bialakis led the Hounds going 2-for-3 at the plate with one double and one run while Beaton went 1-for-2 with a double and a stolen base. Both Murphy and Drakoulakos were 1-for-4 in the box with one run apiece while Murphy tallied an RBI.

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