Ravens Rake, Sweep Bears Saturday

Aubrey Bianco (Photo Courtesy of Alison Palma)
Aubrey Bianco (Photo Courtesy of Alison Palma)

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (March 17, 2018) – The Franklin Pierce University softball team didn't need the luck of the Irish on Saint Patrick's Day as they dominated the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) 6-3 and 13-9 Saturday afternoon earning the programs first doubleheader sweep since the 2016 season. With the victory, the Ravens improve their mark to 3-7 overall while the Bears stumble to 2-8.

The two twinbill victories was the first time since April 19, 2016, that the Ravens achieved the feat. They bested Northeast-10 Conference opponent Saint Michael's College 15-1 in five innings and 14-9 during the nightcap. Franklin Pierce has also already bettered their 2017 season record with the two wins this afternoon.

Senior third basemen Aubrey Bianco (Marlboro, N.Y.) was on fire at the dish with a 4-for-5 (.800) combined performance. She homered, drove in five runs, ripped a double and scored four times. Teammate, shortstop Ashley Rosario (Queensbury, N.Y.) combined to go 6-for-8 (.750) with two RBI and one free pass. Designated player Dominique Bisaccia (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) had a strong day as well going 4-for-8 (.500) as she plated four runs, smacked a triple and scored three times.

Freshman right-hander Cyrena Zemaitis (Goshen, Conn.) pitched nine total innings across both duels, struck out 17 batters while earning the complete-game victory in her game one start.

Game One: Ravens 6, Bears 3 (Final)

Zemaitis took the circle for the Ravens in game one and hurled her fourth complete game of the campaign striking out a career-high 12 batters while scattering five hits, walking four and allowing three runs – two earned to even up her record at 2-2.

Centerfielder Cassidy Sorenson (Billerica, Mass.) was 1-for-4 with a two-run homer fellow outfielder Jaclyn Cortese (Upton, Mass.) added a solo shot as well. Sorenson's dinger was her first of the year and it moved the senior into a tie for second place on the program's all-time list with Jessica Furtado who socked 10 round trippers as well from her 2010-2013 stint with the Ravens.

With one down in the top half of the first, Raven left fielder Jillian Ostrander (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) worked a walk. The next batter was Sorenson who roped her only hit of the game over the left field fence to move the Ravens ahead 2-0.

The Bears evened up the score in the bottom of the frame as centerfielder Jessica Daniel reached via a free pass and then promptly stole second base. The next batter, shortstop Lizul Portugal stroked one of her two hits to drive in Daniel. Two batters later a sacrifice fly brought home the tying run as the score was even 2-2 after one inning.

FPU briefly regained the edge in the top of the second when reigning NE10 Rookie of the Week Bre Eastlick (Rocklin, Calif.) singled to left to plate backstop Rachel Vecchiarelli (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), but in the bottom half, a Raven error knotted the contest at 3-3.

An Ashley Conway (Salem, N.H.) two-bagger down the left field line brought home Bisaccia in the top of the third inning to give Pierce a lead they would keep adding on to. Zemaitis settled down during the bottom of the frame working around a leadoff double and sending down the next three batters by the way of the k. Her strikeout streak carried into the bottom of the fourth as she sent down the leadoff hitter looking.

Vecchiarelli and Cortese added insurance runs for the Ravens as they led 6-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh where the Bears tried to mount a comeback attempt, but two runners were stranded, one in scoring position as the Ravens won 6-3.

Game Two: Ravens 13, Bears 9 (Final)

Bianco went a perfect 4-for-4 (1.000) at the plate in the second contest knocking a homer, a two-bagger, five RBI and scoring four times. Bisaccia was 2-for-4 (.500) with a triple and four RBI. Rosario had a big game as well going 4-for-5 (.800) with two RBI. As a team, the Ravens pounded out 17 hits in the duel.

Sophomore southpaw Amelia Mamone (Wynantskill, N.Y.) relieved starter Abbie Paquette (Biddeford, Maine) to toss three and two-thirds of an inning as she struck out one batter to earn the win and move to 1-3 on the year. Zemaitis came in after Mamone and got five of the six outs via strikeout.

Franklin Pierce jumped ahead early like game one when a Bisaccia sacrifice fly brought home Ostrander. The next batter, Bianco smacked a two-run bomb the opposite way to give the Ravens the early 3-0 lead.

NYIT answered back with a solo shot in the bottom of the first and three-run outburst in the bottom of the second to take their only lead of the contest at 4-3. Franklin Pierce regained the lead for good when Vecchiarelli singled to left to plate Sorenson and Rosario rocked a single up the middle to bring in Bianco as they led 5-4.

In the top half of the four, Franklin Pierce tacked on four more runs as Bianco's single to right brought home two runs. Franklin Pierce and NYIT traded three runs apiece in the fifth inning as the Ravens advantage was 12-7. During the seventh, a Rosario single through the left side upped the edge to 13-7 before the hosts tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but a fly out to center ended the threat.

The Ravens open up conference play on Wednesday, March 21st when they travel to cross state opponent Saint Anselm College for a 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. doubleheader.  

For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce softball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store). You can also follow the softball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/fFPUSoftball_) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpu_ravens_softball).