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SB | Sparacino Has Big Day in Gaels' Season Opener

Feb. 9, 2018

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Saint Mary's (0-2) opened its season on Friday with two close games but eventually dropped both ends of the doubleheader. Senior Hailey Sparacino had a big day for the Gaels, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs, two runs, and two walks.

Game 1
New Mexico 4, Saint Mary's 1

A late rally by the Gaels brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh against the Lobos (1-0) but ultimately Saint Mary's fell in their season opener, 4-1.

In the final frame, Lelani Huey got on base with a pinch hit single and freshman Kimiko Zapanta subbed in as a pinch runner. Zapanta immediately stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error and came around to score the Gaels' lone run on a pass ball two batters later.

Saint Mary's picked up six hits in the loss and freshman pitcher Eileen Perez struck out eight and threw a complete game in her first collegiate start. Sparacino reached base three times while going 1-for-2 with two walks in the game.

Game 2
Notre Dame 8, Saint Mary's 3

The Gaels scored two late runs, including a Dylan Linton RBI single in the seventh inning, to force the game into extra innings but the Fighting Irish (2-0) rallied in the eighth to take the evening contest, 8-3.

SMC struck first in the fourth inning as Hannah Chew ripped a single into right field to chase Sparacino home for a 1-0 lead. Notre Dame replied quickly with three runs in the top of the fifth to retake the lead but the Gaels would fight back and tie the contest late.

Sparacino continued her terrific day with a solo homer to left in the bottom of the sixth to make it a one-run game. In the bottom of the seventh, Linton collected her second RBI single of the game to score Allie Bullock and tie the contest with two outs. Saint Mary's had the bases full with a chance to walk-off two batters later but a groundout to third soiled the threat. Notre Dame scored five runs on five hits in the next inning to clinch the win.


  • Sparacino was second on the Gaels last year in home runs. 
  • Huey went 2-for-2 on Friday with both hits coming in pinch hit situations. 
  • Saint Mary's recorded three stolen bases on the day. The Gaels swiped 28 bags last season.

The Gaels continue the Kajikawa Tournament tomorrow with a doubleheader against Boise State at 9 a.m. and UTEP at 11:30. Links for a live stream of the contests can be found on the Gaels' schedule page.



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