Hawks, Panthers Earn NE10 Semifinal Victories on Friday.
#1 NE Saint Anselm 5, #2 SW New Haven 1 - Box Score
MANCHESTER, N.H. – For the first time in program history, the Saint Anselm softball program advanced to the Northeast 10 Conference Championship game after defeating New Haven, 5-1, in the semifinals of the tournament on Friday afternoon.
The Hawks, who entered the contest ranked 24th in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 poll, improve to 36-8 overall on the year. Saint Anselm is also ranked second in the latest NCAA Division II East Region rankings after earning the Northeast Division Regular Season Championship and the number one seed in the NE10 tournament.
Saint Anselm will face the back-to-back NE10 champions and top-seed from the Southwest Division, Adelphi,in the title game on Saturday, May 4 at 12 p.m. The Panthers defeated the No. 4-seed Pace University in the second game of the day. Saint Anselm head coach Jill Gagnon, who is in her sixth season at the helm, tied long-time Head Coach Bill Vermette for the most wins in program history (161).
Junior Morgan Perry went the distance for the 18th time this year to pick up her 21st win, striking out eight batters and allowing just one run on two hits and a pair of walks. She passed Megan Lemire '10 on the all-time list for complete games and is sixth all-time with 47 in her career.
Senior Jordan O'Connor had the hit of the game, driving the ball over the left-center field fence in the sixth inning for a three-run shot.
The Hawks struck for a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning, thanks to a pair of errors by New Haven. Junior Shannon Colson led off the inning, reaching on a two-base error. Classmate Maggie Murphy plated her with a single before advancing to second on a fielding error by the center fielder.
After Chargers starter Mia Iodice got the next two outs, freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick scored Murphy from second to give Saint Anselm a 2-0 advantage.
Perry retired five of the next six batters, four by way of the strikeout. However, the Chargers cut the lead in half in the top of the third inning with two outs. Catherine Vaughan walked with one away, before stealing second on an attempted hit-and-run that ended with a strikeout. Mya Case followed up with a two-out single to put New Haven on the board.
Both pitchers settled down after that as Iodice shutdown Saint Anselm's bats, retiring 13 in a row after the first inning. Perry put away nine of the next 10 batters she faced through the top of the sixth inning.
However, the Hawks turned a one-run game into a four-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. Murphy reached on a fielder's choice, before sophomore Lauren Washburn advanced Murphy to third on a single to left field. O'Connor came up and sent a blast to left field for her first hit of the day to make it 5-1 in favor of the Hawks.
Saint Anselm looked to continue the inning with two outs but Iodice got the swining strikeout to end the frame. Perry got three straight outs, including a game-ending ground out to third to finish off the Chargers.
#1 SW Adelphi 4, #4 SW Pace 0 - Box Score
Manchester, N.H. - The two top seeds in the Northeast 10 Conference tournament will play to determine a champion on Saturday.
The Adelphi softball team shut out fourth-seeded Pace University, 4-0, in a semifinal matchup of Southwest Division teams on Friday afternoon to advance to the NE10 Championship game for the third consecutive season.
Regular-season Southwest champions Adelphi (31-17) will attempt to make it a hat trick of league titles against the host Hawks (36-8) at noon on Saturday after Northeast Division champions Saint Anselm defeated New Haven, the Southwest's second seeds, 5-1 in the first semifinal on Friday.
The Panthers used a three-run third inning to help secure a fourth win in four meetings against the Setters this season, in a semifinal game that saw a nearly two-hour rain delay after the top of the fourth inning.
The top of the Panthers' order keyed the scoring in the third, following Lauren O'Neill's leadoff triple. Nicoletta Cuccio drove her in with a single through the left side, following a walk to Elisabeth Berard, before second-slot hitter Emily Whitman smoked a liner to right field that, although caught, scored Berard for a 2-0 lead.
A two-out double down the left field line from Hannah Pineda made it 3-0 Adelphi, and Ally Muller later rebounded from a two-error inning for the Panthers, as rain started to steadily fall, in the ensuing frame to hold the Setters scoreless.
Out of the lengthy delay, each team left a runner on in their next frame, before Whitman roped a one-out single in the fifth and was chased home by a double from Emily Turney which led to the final margin.
Muller worked in and out of trouble for much of the seven innings for her 10th shutout of the season and 20th overall win. The sophomore stranded 11 Setters on base in seven innings, scattering four hits and four walks while striking out eight. Prior to the game, she was honored with the NE10's inaugural Elite 24 award for having the highest GPA of all competitors in the league's softball championships.
Pace (23-20) left the bases loaded against Muller in the first and fourth innings, and also stranded two in scoring position in the final inning. Muller recorded just one 1-2-3 inning in the contest, in the sixth, but came up with key outs in key spots to advance the Panthers to the program's fifth NE10 championship game.
NE10 Softball Championship Schedule
Tuesday, April 30th
Game 1: #3 NE Merrimack 5, #4 NE Assumption 3
Game 2: #4 SW Pace 4, #3 SW Le Moyne 1
Championship Weekend (to be hosted by Saint Anselm, #1 seed, Northeast Division)
Thursday, May 2nd
Game 3: #2 SW New Haven 4, #3 NE Merrimack 3
Game 4: #4 SW Pace 3, #2 NE Southern New Hampshire 1
Friday, May 3rd
Game 5: #1 NE Saint Anselm 5, #2 SW New Haven 1
Game 6: #1 SW Adelphi 4, #4 SW Pace 0
Saturday, May 4th
Game 7: #1 NE Saint Anselm vs. #1 SW Adelphi (12:00 PM)
-Information for recaps provided by Adelphi and Saint Anselm athletic communications staffs-
ABOUT THE NE10
The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.