Softball Starts 1-3 Despite Great Performances


The Maverick softball squad opened up the first week of play with a 1-3 record on a road trip in South Carolina despite sophomore Shannon Cisco batting a whopping .583 and senior Ariana Ricci powering four RBIs. 

Cisco would go on to be named ECC Player of the Week.

The Mavs defeated Tusculum on Feb. 19, 4-1, behind Ricci’s two-run RBI triple in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and give the Mavs the lead. Set up the fourth inning.  Ricci batted in junior left fielder  Hailey Puglia and freshman short stop Victoria Seppala, who reached base with an error and single with two outs in the fourth.

Ricci, a senior centerfielder, is batting .365 on the season at 12 at bats with four RBIs. Ricci tied the game in the second inning with a RBI single that scored Puglia for her third RBI of the game.

Junior Alexei Brenson (1-1) pitched seven innings to earn her first win of the season. She allowed four hits, one run and recorded four strikeouts. She struck out the last two batters of the game with a runner on base to seal the victory.

Tusculum (8-3) of Tennessee had a six-game winning streak snapped by the Mavs. The team also snapped the undefeated record of Emily Sappington (5-1)  who has posted an undefeated season with 0.82 era thus far in 2022

Sophomore outfielder Shannon Cisco recorded seven hits in her first 12 at-bats with a double and two runs scored. In two games against Bloomsburg, she is 5-for-7 and leads the team in batting average and on-base percentage. She also leads the team with four stolen bases.

Mercy dropped their opener to Francis Marion (5-6) on Feb. 17, 6-5, after an explosive four run sixth-inning yet lost in the seventh inning on a walk-off.

Mercy took a 6-3 lead into the final inning after Ricci recorded her second hit of the day and scored junior second baseman Nicole Smart, who was also 2-for-3 on the day. Senior catcher Alexis Crawford singled home Pugglia and later scored on a wild pitch.

Francis Marion hit a home run and then scored on a base loaded single to win the game the next inning.

Mercy lost it’s next game to Bloomsburg the following day, 4-3, despite leading 3-0 in the sixth inning. Junior first baseman Samantha Franck blasted the first Mercy home run of the season, scoring herself and Cisco to take a 2-0 lead. Cisco scored again two innings later when she was batted in by senior third baseman Ylannah Bowman.

Mercy would lose to Bloomsburg, 11-2, in a rematch on Feb. 20 to end the opening weekend.

 Cisco was one of four Mavericks who took home weekly honors. Ricci was named to the honor roll, Seppala was named rookie of the week and Benson was named pitcher of the week for her contributions on the mound.

Seppala hit .273 with two stolen bases during the four-game stretch. Benson recorded a 3.32 ERA with eight strikeouts and one complete game in 12.2 innings of play.

As of press time, the Mavericks are en route to Mount Olive, N.C., to play the University of Mt. Olive, Virginia Union University and RV West Liberty University in a three two-game series showcase.

The Mavericks will play a double-header against Adelphi to begin league play on March before they head to Florida to battle Barry University, Lynn University and Eckerd College.  It will host its first game on April 1 in a double-header against the University of Bridgeport.

Last season, Mercy softball recorded a 17-14 record with a 15-9 conference record and were 10-2 at home in Dobbs Ferry. The team lost a three-game series to Bridgeport in the semifinals of the conference tournament. Mercy had won game one, 2-1, behind Benson’s strong performance on the mound. Mercy lost in eight innings in game two, 3-1, and then lost 5-1 in the deciding game.