By: Trey Hannula
SMC Athletic Communications
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — With help from late-inning heroics once again, Saint Mary’s (8-8) took down both of their opponents today in the first day of the ShareSLO Mustang Classic.
Saint Mary’s 5, Middle Tennessee 4
In what’s become a theme over the past week for the Gaels, Saint Mary’s walked off over Middle Tennessee (8-6) to secure another late-inning win for the team.
The Gaels kicked off their scoring with three runs in the third inning to pull ahead early in the contest. Nadia Young began the rally with a single and Nikki Alexander followed with a double to place both women in scoring position. Outfielder Dylan Linton slapped a big triple to drive in two runs and came around to score on a sacrifice fly to give the Gaels a 3-1 lead.
Cara DiMercurio crushed her second home run of the season in the fourth inning to give Saint Mary’s a three run advantage but Middle Tennessee chipped away at the lead to force a 4-4 game heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Alexander led off the final inning with her second hit of the game to put a runner on and Linton followed up with a bunt single. Hailey Sparacino’s long flyout allowed both runners to advance into scoring position with only one out in the inning. The Blue Raiders opted to intentionally walk first baseman and clean-up hitter Bailey Lotz to load and bases and cause a forceout at each bag, but it wouldn’t have an effect as Abbey Mariani delivered as the next batter with a single through the left side to walk-off for the Gaels.
Despite not having her best stuff, Katie Moss fought through three allowed home runs to pick up her fourth win of the season for the Gaels. Moss went all seven innings and struck out six while allowing seven hits and four earned runs.
Saint Mary’s 2, Sacred Heart 1
A shutdown pitching performance from Katlyn Whitt helped the Gaels earn their second win of the day and their first doubleheader sweep of the season with the 2-1 win over Sacred Heart (3-2).
Whitt pitched a complete game for SMC, dancing around eight hits and a walk to allow just one unearned run during the game. The junior from Dublin, Calif. struck out two en route to her third win of the season and didn’t allow any Pioneers to advance past second base after the second inning.
Alexander scorched another extra-base hit in the fifth inning to knock in two runs and give the Gaels a 2-1 lead that would hold for the remainder of the game. The freshman Alexander had a great first day of the tournament, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs. She also managed to reach base in six of her seven plate appearances between both games.
Saint Mary’s will play each team again tomorrow, weather permitting, starting with Sacred Heart at 10 a.m. and Middle Tennessee at 3 p.m. You can follow each game through the live stats link on the Gaels’ schedule page. Results and recaps will be posted following the day’s action at SMCGaels.com.
SUPPORT THE GAELS
A gift to the Gael Athletic Fund directly benefits Saint Mary's student-athletes, allowing them the opportunity to attain an education guided by our Catholic, Lasallian and Liberal Arts traditions. Click the link for more information.
FOLLOW THE GAELS
@SMCGaels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) SMC_Gaels (Snapchat)