NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich University softball team closed out the 2016 regular season with a sweep of Anna Maria College in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action on Saturday afternoon.
Norwich (17-17, 15-7 GNAC) clinched a first-round bye and the No. 4 seed for the GNAC Postseason Tournament with the pair of victories, coupled with a loss by Emmanuel.
The Cadets will be making their sixth appearance in the GNAC playoffs over the last eight seasons and will be back in after a one-year hiatus last season.
GAME ONE – NORWICH 4, ANNA MARIA 3
Despite getting outhit 6-5 in the opener, Norwich outscored Anna Maria 4-3 and rode a solid 11-strikeout pitching performance from freshman Rachel Johnson (Stockbridge, Vt.) as she improved to 9-9 on the season.
Anna Maria (4-31, 2-20 GNAC) was led by a 3-for-4 effort with a run scored and a RBI from Jacqueline Lapierre (Worcester, Mass.) in the first game. Sabrina Carreira (West Hartford, Conn.) had a big two-run double down the left field line that gave the AMCATS a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning. However, NU countered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take control of the game again with a 4-2 lead.
Johnson went the distance, giving up three earned runs on six hits while striking out 11 and walking three to improve to 9-9 on the year. Angela Vousboukis (Swampscott, Mass.) fell to 0-16 without giving up an earned run.
GAME TWO – NORWICH 7, ANNA MARIA 1
In the second game, Rinaldo and Hindman led the offense with the pair of rookies driving in three and two runs respectively. Warner had two hits, drove in a run and also scored as well to keep up her memorable senior day performance.
Norwich scored six runs in the bottom of the second inning and never looked back en route to the 7-1 victory.
Ally Hamelin (Deerfield, Mass.) took the loss for Anna Maria to fall to 4-9 on the season without giving up an earned run.
Norwich honored its three seniors Angie Hershberger (Felton, Calif.), Warner and Morris prior to the start of the game. The three have led the Cadets to a 70-65 record in their four seasons in the Maroon and Gold.
Norwich will now wait to see who its GNAC Tournament Second Round opponent will be as No. 5 Emmanuel will host No. 8 Mount Ida on Tuesday in first round action. The Cadets will be the home team vs. the winner of that game at top-seeded Suffolk on Friday. NU has already advanced to the double-elimination portion of the tournament with its first round bye.