May 11, 2012
ST. LOUIS - Fourth-seeded George Washington (25-29) advanced to its first-ever A-10 Championship final after defeating the defending A-10 Champions, Fordham, 4-1, in a 14 inning marathon on Friday night at the Billiken Sports Center on the campus of Saint Louis University.
George Washington will take on top-seeded Massachusetts (37-11) in tomorrow's title game at 1:00 PM CT. The winner of the Atlantic 10 Softball Championship will earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Picking up the win for George Washington in complete game fashion was senior Kara Clauss. She now improves to 15-18 on the season after allowing only one run on 10 hits over 14 innings.
Fordham's Jen Mineau took the loss for Fordham (32-26) after allowing three George Washington runs in the 14th inning. For the day, Mineau threw 14 innings and allowed four runs on 10 hits.
George Washington took a 1-0 lead in the third inning after Victoria Valos hit a Jen Mineau pitch over the left field wall, her 10th home run of the season, to put the Colonials on the board.
Fordham began to show some signs off life in the seventh inning following back-to-back singles by Elise Fortier and Chelsea Palumbo. Michelle Daubman then successfully advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to Brianna Turgeon, the next batter, Jamie Labovick delivered a game-tying sacrifice fly to even up the score at 1-1.
George Washington showed some offense again in the eighth inning after Valos doubled with one out, but was stranded after Mineau retired the next two batters to end the threat.
In the 11th inning, George Washington's Alexandra Del Prete reached on a two-out error followed by a Samantha Dos Santos walk to bring up Kristi Saporito, the hero from George Washington's victory earlier in the day. Saporito was then struck out by Mineau to end the inning.
George Washington's Autumn Taylor led off the 13th inning with an infield hit and was sacrificed over to second by Tara Fogarty. Sandi Monynihan then singled to center to move Taylor over third with only one out. George Washington was unable to bring Taylor home after a failed bunt attempt and a fly out to right end the inning.
The 14th inning began with George Washington's Lauren Wilson drawing a walk and then stealing second base. Wilson later scored on a suicide squeeze by Valos that also brought home Julie Orlandi on the play to make the score 3-1. Autumn Taylor added an RBI groundout to make it 4-1.