May 10, 2012
ST. LOUIS - Top-seeded Massachusetts advanced to the semifinals of the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Championship with a, 5-2, victory over fourth-seeded George Washington at the Billliken Sports Center on the campus of Saint Louis University.
With the win, the Minutewomen improve to 36-11 on the season and advance to face the winner of Fordham/Saint Joseph's tomorrow at 1:00 PM CT. George Washington drops to 23-29 and prepares to possibly play in tonight's elimination game against fifth-seeded Charlotte at 6:00 PM CT. The lowest seeded one-loss team after the conclusion of the Fordham/Saint Joseph's game will face Charlotte in the nightcap.
The Minutewomen jumped out to an early 1-0 in the first inning on a two-out RBI single by, A-10 Player of the Year, Sara Plourde.
George Washington responded in the top of third inning when Victoria Valos drove a pitch over the left field wall for a two-run home run, her ninth of the season, to give the Colonials a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Massachusetts evened up the score, 2-2, as Plourde drove in her second run of the day on a double over the head of centerfielder Autumn Taylor.
Massachusetts regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning after an error by George Washington first baseman Sandi Moynihan allowed Christine Della Vechia to come around and score on the play. One batter later, Kyllie Magill of Massachusetts followed with an RBI single that scored Cyndill Matthew to push the lead to two, 4-2.
With runners on the corners in the bottom of the fifth inning, Christine Della Vechia drove a Heidi Penna pitch into deep centerfield to drive in Plourde and push the score to 5-2.
Plourde (34-9) went the distance for the Minutewomen tossing seven strong innings, in which she allowed two runs on two hits while striking out 18.
George Washington starter Heidi Penna pitched two innings before being relieved by Kara Clauss (14-18). Clauss took the loss for the Colonials after tossing 2.0 innings while allowing three runs on four hits. In the fifth inning, Penna returned to the mound for the Colonials and threw an additional two innings. For the day, Penna threw 4.0 innings in which she gave up two runs on four hits.
Play continues at the A-10 Softball Championship later today, as No. 2 Fordham takes on No. 6 Saint Joseph's at 3:30PM. Live audio and video will be provided during the Championship to fans, free of charge, through the Atlantic 10 website - www.atlantic10.com.