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CCC TOURNAMENT: An End Of An Era At Endicott; Gulls Bid Farewell To Coach Veilleux As Season Ends

Coach Veilleux meets with his infielders before the inning begins.

CCC SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT PAIRINGS RELEASE | INTERACTIVE BRACKET

NEWPORT, R.I. The fourth-seeded Endicott softball team bested seventh-seeded Curry, 4-3, in the first game of the day, before the Gulls' 2-0 loss to third-seeded Roger Williams University ended Endicott's season in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Tournament Thursday afternoon at Toppa Field.

With the shutout loss, the final campaign of 23-year head coach Mark Veilleux's storied career and four years of hard work from Endicott's senior second baseman Chrissy Gikas (Danvers, Mass.), senior right fielder Julia McNeill (Smithtown, N.Y.), senior first baseman Lexi Pederson (Chandler, Ariz.), and senior third baseman Lindsee Allienello (East Providence, R.I.) came to an end.

GAME ONE: ENDICOTT 4, CURRY 3

The Gulls took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second frame as sophomore designated player Hayley Arduni's (Southington, Conn.) and Gikas' RBI singles drove in sophomore first baseman Jamie Hopgood (Warwick, R.I.) and Arduni, respectively.

Endicott added another run in the third inning on Arduini's RBI double to right center to bring Hopgood around to score.

Trailing 3-0, Curry pushed one across in the fourth when junior Carolyn Lynch (Ipswich, Mass.) singled through the left side with the bases loaded before the next batter lined out to center field and sophomore Olivia Odermatt (Cheshire, Conn.) was able to squash the threat of more runs with her quick-thinking throw to gun the runner out at second on the lineout for inning-ending double play.

The Colonels knotted the score at three-all in the fifth as Gulls' sophomore starter Laura Somerville (Suffield, Conn.) ran into a bit of trouble as back-to-back runs scored with one out on junior Rachel Byrd's (Hampstead, N.H.) RBI single up the middle and an infield error allowed the tying run to cross the plate.

Junior reliever Mikaela Mallozzi (Shelton, Conn.) entered with the bases loaded to retire the final two batters of the fifth with a strikeout looking and lineout to center for the first two outs of her 2 2/3 innings out of the pen en route to her fourth win of the season (4-2).

With two outs in sixth, junior shortstop Danielle Stratton (Agawam, Mass.) reached base for the third time in the game as she beat out an infield slap single and proceeded to steal second base on the next pitch.

Sophomore left fielder KK Palmerino's (Glenmont, N.Y.) two-out double to right center proved to be the difference, giving Stratton plenty of time to score the eventual game-winning run.

GAME TWO: ROGER WILLIAMS 2, ENDICOTT 0

The first four and a half scoreless innings featured a pitcher's duel between Endicott's freshman starter Michaela Hamill (Lynn, Mass.) and the Hawks' freshman hurler Alyssa Murray (Green Brook, N.J.).

Roger Williams broke the deadlock in the bottom of the fifth as freshman Taylor Chatowsky (North Kingstown, R.I.) reached via an infield error and advanced to second on a passed ball before Hamill retired the next two batters in order.

Murray then helped her own cause with a two-out RBI single to plate Chatowsky, followed by senior Julianne Vesce's (Mahwah, N.J.) single to drive in junior Haley Ledbetter (Westerly, R.I.) with an insurance run.

Murray went on to earn the win (3-5) in the complete-game effort for her first career shutout as she scattered six hits and fanned seven batters.

Hamill suffered the hard-luck loss (8-3) on six innings of work in which she gave up two runs (both unearned) on six hits and two walks to go with two punchouts.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • Veilleux closed out his career with a 620-275-12 overall coaching record.
  • The Gulls are 39-3-1 all-time against Curry and 37-14 versus Roger Williams, respectively.
  • Endicott went 3-0 against Curry this season and 1-2 against Roger Williams.
  • Mallozzi's two-hit scoreless relief effort was her eighth appearance of the season and 11th overall.
  • Stratton and Palmerino each collected a pair of hits in both games to lead the Gulls offensively.

FOR THE FOES

  • Curry out-hit Endicott 11-9, including a team-high three from junior Jessica Saluti (Braintree, Mass.).
  • Colonels' junior pitcher Mikayla Lambert (Blackstone, Mass.) was tagged with the loss (6-10) in six innings of work in which she allowed four runs (all earned) on nine hits, walked three and struck out five.
  • Roger Williams won its second-straight elimination game and knocked Endicott out of the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.

WHAT'S NEXT

No. 7 seed Curry (16-23)  and No.4 seed Endicott (22-16) saw their seasons come to a close, while No. 3 seed Roger Williams (25-17) will play the loser of No. 1 Salve Regina and No. 2 Western New England on Saturday, May 6th in Game 11 of the CCC Tournament at 11:00 a.m. at Toppa Field.   

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(Photo Credit - Matt Connelly)