May 9, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Saint Joseph's banged out 12 hits and used a three-run fourth inning, in a 4-3 come-from-behind win over Saint Louis in a winner's bracket game at the 2013 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship at Sortino Field Thursday.
Saint Joseph's (35-8-1) advances to Friday's winner's bracket game where it will face the Temple-Fordham winner at Noon Eastern Time. Saint Louis (27-23) will play an elimination game against George Washington later Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Liz Mendez (9-5) struck out seven and allowed just two hits in 4.1 innings of relief to earn the victory. The freshman retired 11 of 17 batters, including nine of 11 at one point.
"It's not about striking people out but about trusting your defense and I trust my team out there," Mendez said. "I was ready because we knew in a tight game you have to be ready to come out at any point in the game."
Sarah Yoos went 3-for-4 to lead the Hawks offense as seven players collected at least one hit. Monica Aguilar, Rochelle Christman and Dana Parks all had two hits apiece.
Laney Kneib (13-8) took the loss for the Billikens as she allowed the final three SJU runs in just two-thirds of an inning.
Lindsey Friedman hit the eighth pitch of the game to deep center and saw it bounce off the top of the wall and over for her eighth of the season, setting a single-season record for the Billikens.
The Hawks threatened in the bottom of the first and loaded the bases with one out, but saw a single by Yoos hit Aguilar running at first base, retiring the Hawk designated player and forcing the runners at second and third to return to those base. Christman then grounded back to the circle for the final out.
After both teams went in order in the second, SLU's Laura Bohning hit a 2-run double that went right over the bag at third and into the left field corner. Buschjost and Friedman both scored on the play to push the Billiken lead to 3-0.
SJU answered back in the bottom of the third as they loaded the bases with two outs thanks to a walk and a pair of singles, forcing a SLU pitching change. The first batter Kneib faced she hit in the hand, allowing Kerrie Kortmann to score and get the Hawks on the board.
Maria Ficca opened the SJU fourth with the second solo homer of the day as her third of the season went into the left field bleachers to cut the cut the deficit to 3-2. Parks followed with a single and stole second, before scoring on Nicole Palase's triple to right. The Hawks took their first lead of the contest at 4-3 on Aguilar's single to left as Brianna Lore re-entered the game.