May 14, 2011
Box Score in PDF Format
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Third-seeded Saint Joseph's (31-15) clinched a trip to the 2011 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship Finals after defeating #2 Massachusetts (29-18), 6-2, in nine innings Saturday morning at Charlotte's D.L. Phillips Softball Complex.
Saint Joseph's wasted no time as Monica Aguilar blasted a two-run home run to left field in the top of the first to put the Hawks up 2-0.
Massachusetts struck back with a home run from Lindsey Webster in the third to put the Minutewomen on the board. In the next inning Audrey Boutin would homer again for UMass, tying the game, 2-2.
After a delay for approaching storms, the game was postponed until Saturday morning, where the two teams began the seventh inning at 9 a.m., still tied 2-2.
The Hawks were up and ready to play as Alaina Loguidice opened the inning with a double to left field. Bernadette Moran would then single and advance on a fielding error, but Saint Joseph's could not capitalize, leaving both runners on base.
Massachusetts' would get a double out Cyndil Matthew, but she was left stranded in the eighth.
Saint Joseph's continued to put pressure on Massachusetts, but the final blow would come in the ninth as the Hawks' bats lit up, putting four runs on the board, to take a 6-2 lead.
"This team has fought every inning, every at-bat this whole year. I knew that their heart would get them through this game," Hawks' Head Coach Terri Adams said. "Our seniors this game have come through like they have all season long."
Loguidice started with a lead-off single, followed by a single from Moran. Both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Laura Cardone. The first run would come off a single by Dana Bieneck to score Maria Ficca. Rochelle Christman would strike another blow, bringing Moran home. Bieniek and Monica Aguilar scored on a Taylor Korpita single to go up four.
The Minutewomen showed signs of life in the bottom of the ninth as Christine Della Vecchia singled to third base and Matthew advanced on an error, but the Hawks Taryn Ashway would seal the deal.
Ashway finished with 11 strikeouts in nine innings. With the win, she improved to 7-6 on the season. Sara Plourde fanned 12 in nine innings of work; she fell to 27-15.
The Hawks move on to their first championship final since 2009 where they take on top-seeded Fordham. The winner of the Atlantic 10 Softball Championship will earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.