Gulls defeat Cardinals and grand fashion

Endicott earns 40th win of the season, advances in NCAA Tourny


Senior Danielle Sargent hit a grand slam in the second inning to help power Endicott past St. John Fisher, 5-0

May 9, 2008

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Endicott College senior Danielle Sargent (Sabattus, Maine) hit a grand slam in the second inning on Friday to lead the Gulls past St. John Fisher, 5-0, in the NCAA Division III Regional Tournament at Cardinal Park in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

After a scoreless first inning of play, the Cardinals threatened in the top of the second as senior Nicole Middleton (Fort Edward, N.Y.) led off with a single to left center. After a sacrifice bunt moved Middleton into scoring position, junior Kristi Bradley (Dansville, N.Y.) hit a groundball to the left side that seemed destined for left field. Gulls shortstop Jenna Lazar (Milton, Mass.) ranged deep into the hole to cut the ball off, immediately spinning and throwing behind the retreating Middleton at second base for the out. Endicott pitcher Maria Mangine (Lockport, N.Y.) got the next batter swinging at a third strike to end the threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, Gulls' third baseman Merry MacDonald (Braintree, Mass.) attempted to spark a rally with a one-out base hit to centerfield. With sophomore Sara Spaziano (Norton, Mass.) at the plate, MacDonald moved herself into scoring position by swiping second base. Spaziano then delivered an RBI single up the middle, bringing home the first run of the game and giving the Blue and Green a 1-0 lead. Endicott wasn't finished just yet. After a walk to right fielder Megan Downey (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) and a line drive single by senior Paula McGinn (Lynn, Mass.), left fielder Danielle Sargent (Sabattus, Maine) strode to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. The senior jumped all over a 3-2 fastball, crushing a grand slam home run to left field, putting the Gulls ahead by the score of 5-0.

Working with the lead, Mangine settled into a groove. She retired the side in order in both the third and fourth inning, taking a shutout into the seventh. After surrendering a lead-off single to freshman catcher Jamie Harmon (South Portland, Maine), Mangine set down the next three batters on two grounders and a pop-up to third baseman Merry MacDonald, giving Endicott the 5-0 victory.

In tossing her fifth complete-game shutout of the year, Mangine improved to 14-1 overall and lowered her ERA to a sparkling 1.19. Over her seven innings of work she surrendered five hits while striking out four.

Senior Danielle Sargent was the offensive star of the game for Endicott going 1-2 with a grand slam home run. Sophomores Sara Spaziano and Merry MacDonald also had good days at the plate, each collecting two hits in three at-bats.

Junior Amanda Shevchuk (Manlius, N.Y.) took the loss for the Cardinals, dropping to 15-13 on the season. She went six innings giving up five runs on nine hits while striking out two.

Center fielder Nicole Watkins (Canastota, N.Y) was one of five St. John Fisher players with a hit, and also made a spectacular diving catch on a sinking line drive off the bat of Mangine in the fifth. Freshman Catcher Jamie Harmon also chipped with three productive at-bats, going 1-1 with a hit-by-pitch and a sacrifice bunt in the loss.

The loss drops the Cardinals to 25-20 on the season, and sends them into the loser's bracket to face the winner of Montclair State and Eastern Connecticut. The win was Endicott's 40th of the season, improving the team to 40-4 overall. The Gulls win play in the winner's bracket finals on Saturday against Cortland State. Game time is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at Cardinal Park in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

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