WATERVILLE, Maine --- Thomas College junior pitcher Sonja Morse (South China, Maine / Cony) struck out a combined 20 batters and, for the second time this season, threw complete games in both halves of a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader as the Terriers swept Johnson State College, 12-1 and 5-1, on Sunday.
Freshman centerfielder Katie Taylor (Lebanon, Maine / Noble) was 4-for-6 at the plate with a double, a triple, four RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.
Morse, who is graduating early, and the team's four seniors - Faith Robinson (Auburn, N.H. / Pinkerton Academy), Lindsy Hoopingarner (Richmond, Maine / Richmond), Ashlee Quirrion (Jay, Maine / Spruce Mountain) and Phyllicia Jordan (Ellsworth, Maine / Ellsworth) - were recognized prior to the start of the doubleheader as part of the program's Senior Day festivities.
Game 1: Thomas 12, Johnson State 1 (5 innings)
Thomas scored nine runs in the third inning to blow a scoreless game wide open en route to the five-inning victory. The Terriers sent 14 batters to the plate in the frame, rapping six hits and capitalizing on three Johnson State errors.
The first two runs scored when Madison Bentz reached on a throwing error. Freshman Lexi Colpack (Franklin, N.H. / Franklin) and Morse followed with back-to-back RBI singles. Morse scored from first when the Badgers' third miscue of the inning allowed junior Courtney Veilleux (Oakland, Maine / Messalonskee) to reach safely while attempting to sacrifice bunt.
Junior Korrie Laren (Blackstone, Mass. / Blackstone-Millville) made it 6-0 with an RBI single up the middle that scored Veilleux. After walks to Jordanna Agger (so., South Portland, Maine / Wells) and Sydney LeBourveau (fr., Jericho, Vt. / Mount Mansfield Union) loaded the bases, Taylor rapped a single down the right-field line to score Laren. With one out and the bases still loaded, Madison Bentz (jr., Ottawa, Ill. / Ottawa Twonship) knocked a two-run single to center field that scored LeBourveau and Agger.
Johnson State was able to get a strikeout and a pop out to bring an end to the inning.
The Badgers countered for one run in the top of the fourth as Anna Bingham opened the frame with a single to left field and scored when the next batter, Shannon Grier, doubled to left. It was just a small hiccup for Morse, though, who got out of the inning by striking out the next three Johnson State batters.
Thomas added three runs in the fourth inning as Laren scored on an RBI single to left by freshman Molly Carroll (Southwest Harbor, Maine / Mount Desert Island). Laren had opened the inning with a double to right center. Ashlee Quirrion added an RBI single, then scored on a triple down the right-field line by Taylor.
Morse grabbed the win, scattering four hits in five innings of work. She struck out eight and did not walk a batter while throwing just 69 pitches.
Taylor finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored to lead the Terriers offensively. Laren chipped in with a pair of hits, including a double, and two runs scored.
Grier accounted for two of Johnson State's four hits, while Alex Bean and Anna Bingham had one apiece.
Game 2: Thomas 5, Johnson State 1
Morse continued to pitch well in game two. After allowing a single to Alex Bean to lead off the game, she sat down the Badgers in order on strikes in the first. In all, Morse struck out 11 of the first 16 batters she faced. Her 12th and final strikeout of the game came in the seventh when she struck out Amanda Coulombe to end the game.
The Terriers grabbed the lead with four runs in the second. Freshmen Michaella Arsenault (Poland, Maine / Poland) and Sydney LeBourveau scored on a two-run double to left by Taylor. Taylor made it 3-0 after scoring on a Madison Bentz RBI single up the middle. After a flyout to right by Lexi Colpack, Morse drove in Bentz from second with an RBI double to left field. Morse moved to third on a bunt single by Courtney Veilleux, who followed with a steal of second base to move into scoring position. The Thomas run was curtailed, however, when Korrie Laren flew out to left to end the inning.
Thomas added a run in the fifth as Veilleux drew a walk to open the frame, stole second, moved to third on a deep flyout and scored on a wild pitch.
Johnson State got on the board with a run in the sixth inning when Anna Bingham hit an RBI double to right center to score Bean all the way from first base.
Bingham and Bean accounted for Johnson State's two hits, while Emily Graves drew a one-out walk in the seventh, but was erased at second base when Bean reached on a fielder's choice.
Connor Kelsey took the loss, allowing five runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out two over six innings.
Nine different Terriers had base hits in the second game with Morse and Taylor contributing doubles. Veilleux also drew a walk and stole two bases.
Morse finished with a complete-game two-hitter, walking just one in addition to striking out 12. She improved to 12-4 overall after receiving the win in each of Thomas' four games this weekend.
Thomas (14-13, 7-1 NAC) hosts UMaine-Farmington at 3 p.m. Wednesday in a pivotal league twin bill. The Terriers currently hold a one-game lead over Castleton for first place in the NAC standings and can lock up - at minimum - a top-three seed in the upcoming tournament with a win in any of their final four league games.
Johnson State (6-16, 4-6 NAC) still has hopes of a berth in the NAC Tournament but needs to sweep Castleton (13-11, 6-2 NAC) in their league finale Wednesday afternoon.