MINNEOLA, Fla. -- Simmons sophomore Heather White (Westfield, Mass.) hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to lead the Sharks to a 8-3 win over Stevenson on Tuesday afternoon. The Sharks move to 5-1 to start their 2014 season.
Game One: Simmons 5, Transylvania 4
After a scoreless first two innings, Transylvania took a one lead in the bottom of the third. Lauren Willett singled the right field line and Shelby Bailey hit a sacrifice bunt to move Willett to second. Maddy Rodabaugh reached first on a Sharks error and Willett scored for the lead.
In the top of the fourth, Mikaela Caracciolo (North Attleboro, Mass.) singled up the middle but was thrown out at second as Emily Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) gained first on a fielder's choice. White singled through the left side to advance E. Cunningham and Christina Mulcahy (Cambridge, Mass.) smoked a double up the middle as E. Cunningham crossed home plate to tie the game at one.
Transylvania took the lead again in the bottom of the fifth when Bailey hit a solo home run to left field. The Sharks responded in the top of the sixth when junior Jess Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.) singled up the middle to score White from third. Stellar defense by both teams kept the game tied through the seventh and the game went into extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, E. Cunningham was put on second and White hit a perfect sacrifice bunt to advance the go ahead run to third. Mulcahy singled to centerfield as E. Cunningham crossed home for a 3-2 lead. Alaina DeNoncour (Johnston, R.I.) walked and Victoria Luongo (Medford, Mass.) singled to load the bases for the Sharks. First year Emma D'Arpino (Johnston, R.I.) stepped up to plate and singled through the left side to score Mulcahy for a 4-2 lead. Hannah Cunningham (Cotuit, Mass.) reached first on an error by the third baseman, which was enough for Amy Maher (Milton, Mass.), who pinch ran for DeNoncour to score.
With the pressure on, Transylvania scored two runs off of singles by Elizabeth Young and Willett. With two outs, the home team had runners on first and second but Rodabaugh lined out to E. Cunningham and the Sharks held on for the victory.
Game Two: Simmons 8, Stevenson 3
Simmons took an early lead as Heather White launched a three run homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the first. After a scoreless second inning, Stevenson loaded the bases before Courtney Cook reached on a fielder's choice and Molly Hoyt scored from third. In the top of the fifth, Brianna Dieter singled to left field to start the inning. Jenna Fiamingo doubled to left center and Cook singled to drive in Dieter. Sharks catcher Alison Gauvin (Whitefield, Maine) made a heads up play and picked off Cook at second to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Caracciolo started things off with a single up the middle. E. Cunningham placed a sacrifice bunt down the left field line to advance Caracciolo and White continued her hitting streak with a single to left field to score Caracciolo. Mulcahy added another single to score white and pitcher Lauren Backhaus (Windsor, Conn.) singled to score Mulcahy. Jen Field (Windham, Maine) hit a perfectly place single to score DeNoncour from third to give the Sharks a 7-2 lead.
The Sharks added their final run in the bottom of the sixth as E. Cunningham doubled to centerfield and Mulchay reach on an error to score the runner from third. Stevenson added their final run in the top of the seventh as Fiamingo doubled to left field to score Kristen Fassler but a pop up by Cook to first base ended the inning.
Backhaus pitched all seven innings and struck out five, while Hoyt and Welch shared the mound for the Mustangs.