May 13, 2011
Box Score in PDF Format
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Third-seeded Saint Joseph's (30-15) defeated fifth-seeded Charlotte (30-24) 3-2 in 11 innings in an elimination game at the 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Championship. Rochelle Christman came through with a walk-off base hit in the 11th lacing a single to left field with two outs and the bases loaded to give the Hawks the victory.
"If I don't hit the ball, then I have to go back and catch another inning,' that's what I was thinking," said Christman on recording the game-winning hit in the 11th. "But the girls deserve it and every time I go up to bat I just think `hit, hit...line drive.' I kind of struggle with [Hackett], she threw me outside a lot, but I think it was kind of middle in, the one I hit, and I'm glad I got a hold of it and I'm glad I dropped in and I'm glad we won."
Deanna Stinner led all hitters on Friday afternoon with three hits, while SJU's Dana Parks, Laura Cardone, Alaina Loguidice and Christman each registered two hits apiece. Christman was responsible for driving in two of the three Hawks' runs.
Jalisa Rock went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks to pace the 49ers.
Saint Joseph's finished the game out hitting Charlotte 13-5, while the Hawks stranded 22 runners on the afternoon compared to 11 left on base for the 49ers.
Charlotte grabbed an early 1-0 lead taking advantage of a hit-by-pitch, a walk and a fielding error all with two outs in the top of the first. The Hawks looked to be on their way to an easy 1-2-3 inning as Erin Gallagher struck out the first two batters that she faced. But the junior right hander then hit Tenaya Tucker with a pitch before issuing a walk to Briana Gwaltney. Kalie Lang stepped in and sent a groundball to second that Moran could not field cleanly bringing home Tucker for the first run of the game.
Saint Joseph's threatened in the bottom of the first as Parks and Cardone led off with back-to-back singles. After a sac-bunt moved both runners up a base, Monica Aguilar drew a walk, one of five on the afternoon, to load the bases for the Hawks. Katy Hackett settled down and maintained the 49ers one-run lead as she recorded a fielder's choice groundout at the plate and a strikeout to end the inning.
The Hawks were at it again in the bottom of the second collecting a pair of hits behind Stinner and Loguidice. But Saint Joseph's would leave both runners stranded as Hackett once again escaped the jam.
Saint Joseph's finally broke through with its first run of the afternoon in the third to tie the game 1-1. With Bernadette Moran at third following a walk to lead-off the inning, Christman recorded a two-out, RBI single to left to even the game for the second time Friday afternoon.
In the bottom of the fifth, Saint Joseph's loaded the bases on a single and a pair of Charlotte errors. But Hackett was the answer once again striking out the next three batters that she faced to keep the game tied at one.
Both teams exchanged a run in the sixth as the score remained tied at 2-2. Charlotte's Lorena Vela gave the 49ers a short lead courtesy of a two-out, RBI plating Kendra McCall from second, who led off the inning as she was hit by a pitch.
Saint Joseph's answered right back loading the bases with no outs on a single by Cardone, a double by Moran and a walk to Aguilar. Dana Bieniek drove in the tying run on a fielding error at second base by the 49ers.
For the third inning in a row, Charlotte got out of a bases loaded jam to force extra innings. Loguidice led off the bottom of the seventh with a double down the line in left. She advanced to third on the fourth 49ers error of the game, while Aguilar drew her third walk of the game to load the bases once again for the Hawks. As she did all game long, Hackett kept the game tied at two as she forced Bieniek into a fielder's choice groundout at third for the final out of the inning.
The game remained tied until the 11th when the Hawks once again loaded the bases. This time Christman connected on a two-out single to left plating Maria Ficca for the winning run.
Taryn Ashway (6-6) earned the victory for the Hawks as she entered the circle in the 11th inning and retired the two batters that she faced. Erin Gallagher went 10.1 innings allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits as she walked seven and struck out nine.
Hackett (21-12) suffered the loss going the distance for the 49ers working 10.2 innings allowing three runs on 13 hits. She walked nine and struck out seven.
With the win, Saint Joseph's advances to face Massachusetts at 7:00 p.m., on Friday, May 13. At stake for both teams, the right to face Fordham in the championship finals on Saturday, May 14.