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Bucklin/Watson Lead Softball in 9-1 Victory Over Simmons; Monks Slip by Angels 4-3

Bucklin/Watson Lead Softball in 9-1 Victory Over Simmons; Monks Slip by Angels 4-3

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- In Thursday's final day at Disney's Wide World of Sports, the Meredith College softball team split action starting with a 9-1, five-inning victory over the Simmons Sharks. Next, Saint Joesph's (Me.) scored three unearned runs in the top of seventh to slip past the Avenging Angels for a 4-3 win.

vs. Simmons
Brittany Bucklin and Sarah Watson combined for five hits and five runs batted in to lead the Angels, and both used a double to drive in runs. Rachel Peel walked in a run in the first, and Maria Annunziata pinch hit in the fifth with the same result. Peel's single in the second led to a Bucklin score on an outfield throwing error.

Rookie Savannah Patterson recorded her first collegiate start and win in the circle for the Angels allowing five hits with one run and a pair of walks. Simmons starter Juliet Nelson recorded the loss allowing 11 hits with eight earned runs and five walks through 4.2 innings. Bridget Garach entered the game in the top of the fifth with the bases loaded and allowed just one more hit from the Angels.

Meredith opened the game with three singles from Haley Ervin, Bucklin, and Eran Artigues to load the bases. Peel earned her first RBI with a walk, and Katie Kepley scored Bucklin with a single. Watson's double added two more to give the Angels a quick 4-0 lead.

Shark Brianna Rastello drove in a run with a sacrifice fly for a 4-1 Meredith advantage heading into the second inning. Peel's single extended MC's lead back to four.

The team's remained scoreless until another Meredith rally in the fifth secured an early finish in favor of the Angels.

vs. Saint Joseph's (Me.)
Erica Occena drove in one run on a groundout in the third and two more in the fifth on a double to left. Annunziata led the Angels with three hits in four at-bats and scored on Occena's hit. Julia Allsbrook and Charley Cox both recorded singles that scored with help from Occena, and Artigues' single to right field went unscored in the bottom of the fourth.

Julia Cerasi earned her third career win for Meredith allowing eight hits with four runs, one earned, two walks and as many strikeouts. Taylor Jackson entered in the seventh to strikeout SJC's designated player to get Meredith out of the costly inning. Kylie McFadden earned her first win for the Monk's facing all 29 Angel batters with two earned runs on seven hits with a pair each of walks and strikeouts.

Occena's extra-base hit in the fifth gave the Avenging Angels a slight 3-1 lead, and Meredith appeared to be in control of the game with two quick outs to open the seventh. But Monk Carla Tripp singled and was moved to second with a base-on-balls in the next at-bat, and the Avenging Angels defense began to unravel. A passed ball advanced the runners, and an infield error scored Tripp. With the go-ahead run on first, an SJC double scored two to take the lead.

Cox walked in the bottom of the frame and moved into scoring position with a sacrifice from Allsbrook, but the Angels would not find a way to bring her home to extend the game.

The Avenging Angels return to Raleigh to close out spring break with back-to-back USA South doubleheaders. Saturday's games will be played at N.C. Wesleyan beginning at 1 p.m. Meredith is slated to travel to Fayetteville Sunday for a 2 p.m. match-up with the Methodist Monarchs. Check back later in the weekend for updates on the winter weather in the forecast for that morning.