SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – No. 5 seed Roger Williams and No. 7 seed Gordon both upset higher seeds on day two of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Softball Tournament, while No. 2 seed University of New England also won to advance in the winner's bracket.
The Hawks picked up a 5-3 victory over No. 4 seed Salve Regina to send the Seahawks into the loser's bracket, while the Fighting Scots' 2-1 win eliminated No. 3 seed Western New England from championship contention. UNE defeated No. 6 seed Nichols, 11-3, in the other day two matchup.
The winner of the Salve-RWU game was scheduled to play top-seeded Endicott, but that game was postponed due to unplayable field conditions. The tournament continues tomorrow, but the schedule has been adjusted to accommodate the extra game.
The Gulls will be the host for day three of the tournament on Friday, May 3 using Gordon as an alternate site. The day will start with two games at each site. The fifth seeded Hawks will play Endicott at 11 a.m. on the Gulls' home field. The winner of that game will play the Nor'easters at 1:15 p.m. for the chance to be the undefeated team in the championship round.
Meanwhile, Salve and Nichols will play an elimination game at 11 a.m. to start the day at Gordon. Then at 1:15 p.m. the loser of the Endicott-RWU game will move to Gordon to face the Fighting Scots in another elimination contest.
The winners of those two games will return to Endicott at 3:30 p.m. for one more elimination game, leaving three teams remaining heading into Saturday.
The highest remaining seed after Friday will host the CCC Championship round on Saturday, May 4 with teams heading to the higher-seeded team on Sunday, May 5 for an "if necessary" game should the situation arise.
The winner of the 2019 CCC Softball Tournament will be named the CCC Tournament Champion and will earn the league's automatic qualifier into the 2019 NCAA Division III Softball Championship Tournament.
#2 University of New England 11, #6 Nichols 3 - 5 Innings
BIDDEFORD, Maine - Second-seeded University of New England sent 17 batters to the plate through two innings to overcome an early deficit and secure an 11-3 victory (5 innings) against No.6 Nichols in Game 5 of the 2019 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Softball Championship on Thursday afternoon (May 2) at Nor'easter Diamond.
With the result, UNE (25-14) moves forward into Friday's Game 10 of the double elimination tournament, which is scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. on the campus of Endicott. The matchup will be complete once the top-seeded Gulls and No.5 Roger Williams University play to a winner in the morning.
The Bison (17-18-1) drop into an elimination contest [Game 7] versus fifth-seeded Salve Regina, which is slated to begin at 11 a.m. Friday on the campus of Gordon College.
Coming off a no-hitter performance on Wednesday, UNE's Sydnee Bessler (Everett, Mass.) was touched for three by Nichols with one out in the top of the first frame. Taylor Commesso (Hingham, Mass.) gave the visitors a 3-0 lead with a deep home run over the left field fence.
The Nor'easters countered immediately with one full turn through the lineup, though, and grabbed a 4-3 edge by the end of the 34-minute opening stanza. Avery Alberghini (Moretown, Vt.) (CCC Player of the Year / 1st Team) got things started with an inside-the-park home run -- the second of her career. Doubles by Caroline Schoenbucher (Barrington, N.H.) and Taylor Depot (Auburn, Maine) (CCC 3rd Team) followed, before Andrea Gosper (Wyoming, R.I.) (CCC 3rd Team) made it 3-2 with a single. After the initial out, a single by Sarah Lachapelle (Gilford, N.H.) loaded the bases for Anna Sessa (Tewksbury, Mass.), whose single then knocked in a pair for the ultimate advantage.
Bessler (CCC 1st Team) needed just eight pitches in the 2nd to maintain the slim cushion, and only allowed four base runners the rest of the way to notch her 12th win in the circle with four strikeouts.
The UNE bats provided insurance with four more in the 2nd to establish an 8-3 margin. One was already across when Gosper posted a two-RBI single, and a double from Lachapelle drove home her first of two.
The hosts tacked on one run in each of the next three at-bats to end it, capped by Depot's third double in the fifth inning. Batters one through four in the UNE order (Alberghini, Schoenbucher, Depot, and Gosper) combined for six of the team's seven extra-bases hits, 11 of the 14 total hits, and all 11 runs scored. The runs and hits production both matched season highs.
Alexis Ferris (Holyoke, Mass.) (CCC 2nd Team) took the pitching loss for the Bison, faced 12 batters prior to exiting the contest.
Alberghini entered the day ranked fourth in Division III for batting average (.544) and stolen bases/game (1.12); both increased, with a 3-for-4 outing at the dish and two steals. She is also now the top run scorer in the last 25+ seasons of the UNE program (114), surpassing the 113 held by Maegen Johnson '12.
Game recap courtesy of the University of New England Sports Information Department.
#5 Roger Williams 5, #4 Salve Regina 3
NEWPORT, R.I. - The Roger Williams softball team won 5-3 in the first round of CCC Playoffs against Salve Regina on a Thursday afternoon.
Lia Nocella (Tyngsboro, Mass.) started off on the mound for RWU striking out four Seahawks. Hailey Pretchel (Glenmont, N.Y.) came in for relief recording her second save of the season only allowing one hit in a key situation.
The Hawks came out strong in the first inning earning an early 1-0 lead. Alyssa Murray (Green Brook, N.J.) grounded into a double play but scored Elizabeth Lombardo (Thomaston, Conn.) in the process.
In the top of the third, the Hawks struck again when Murray hit an RBI single to add one to the board for a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Alex Lombardo (Thomaston, Conn.) came up with girls on second and third with only one out. Alex Lombardo crushed a single to right field scoring both to go ahead four runs.
The Seahawks finally answered in the bottom of the fifth when Amanda Riley (Barrington, N.H.) hit an RBI single to center field to score teammate Allie Gusmano (Orange, Conn.) to put the score at 4-1.
In the sixth, Katrina Goria (Wyckoff, N.J.) led off with a single to left field following a walk from pitcher Andi Nelson (Candia, N.H.). With runners on first and third, Sydney Provencal (Cumberland, R.I.) hit an RBI single to plate Goria to give the Hawks another run.
In the same inning, Salve's Megan Guest (Meriden, Conn.) hit an RBI double to left field to bring in one of her teammates. With two Seahawks on second and third, Jaycee Garrigan (Uxbridge, Mass.) was due up next and singled to third base to score Holly Kathios (Pelham, N.H.) bringing the score to 5-3.
RWU's catcher Micaela Pohl (Middleboro, Mass.) gunned down four Seahawks on the bases including the final out of the game.
Tara Chatowsky (North Kingstown, R.I.) also contributed with three hits on the day to help give the Hawks their first playoff win.
Both teams did not score after the sixth inning and the Hawks took the win to advance to the winner's bracket against Endicott tomorrow at 11 a.m.
Game recap courtesy of the Roger Williams Sports Information Department.
#7 Gordon 2, #3 Western New England 1
BIDDEFORD, Maine - Gordon softball took another trip to Biddeford, Maine this afternoon, this time to take on Western New England. The Fighting Scots took home the 2-1 upset victory over the third-ranked Golden Bears.
The No.7 seeded Fighting Scots will take on the loser of No. 4 Salve Regina and No. 6 Nichols at 1:15 on Gordon's home field.
How It Happened
- Kristen Brown (Granite Springs, N.Y.) knocked in the first run of the game for the Scots as the sophomore singled to center field to bring Karissa Hatchell (Eaton, Ohio) home and give them the 1-0 lead in the top half of the first. The Golden Bears answered in the bottom half of the inning as Emily Cooney (Berlin, Conn.) crossed the plate to tie the game at one.
- The second inning was a pitchers' duel as Gordon's Caitlin Catalanotto (Kingston, N.H.) and WNE's Aimee Kistner (Taunton, Mass.) each struck out two of the three batters they faced.
- Gordon started the top of third strong as Megan Jenkerson (McDonough, Ga.) found her way to second after extending a single to second off an error. Jenkerson tallied the Scots' second run on the next play as Hatchell doubled to center field to give the Scots the 2-1 edge.
- The pitchers' duel continued for the next three inning as Catalanotto struck out five while allowing one hit and Kistner struck out six batters while allowing one hit. The Scots solidified the game in the bottom of the seventh when Hatchell made the game-saving catch in left field to strand WNE's Tamara Diaz (Springfield, Mass.) at third and take home the 2-1 victory.
Beyond The Box Score
- The Fighting Scots have now beaten the Golden Bears twice in the 2019 season.
- In today's win junior pitcher Catalanotto let up only one hit and tied the season wins record with 12 on the year.
Game recap courtesy of the Gordon Sports Information Department.
2019 CCC Softball Tournament Schedule
Game numbers reflect the original order of games before rescheduling.
Wednesday, May 1
Thursday, May 2
Hosted by #1 Seed and #2 Seed
Friday, May 3
Hosted by #1 Endicott/Gordon
Game 4 - #5 Roger Williams at #1 Endicott, 11 a.m.
Game 7 – #4 Salve Regina vs. #6 Nichols (at Gordon), 11 a.m.
Game 8 - Game 4 Loser vs. #7 Gordon (at Gordon), 1:15 p.m.
Game 10 - Game 4 Winner vs. #2 University of New England (at Endicott), 1:15 p.m.
Game 9 - Game 7 Winner vs. Game 8 Winner (at Endicott), 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 4
Hosted by highest remaining seed
Game 11 - Game 10 Loser vs. Game 9 Winner, TBD
Game 12 - Game 10 Winner vs. Game 11 Winner, TBD
Sunday, May 5
Hosted by higher remaining seed
Game 13 - Game 12 teams (if necessary), TBD
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.