Blue Hens Clinch Spot in CAA Tournament Despite Doubleheader Sweep By Towson
May 6, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Game 1 Boxscore
• Game 2 Boxscore
NEWARK, Del. –The University of Delaware softball team was swept in a doubleheader by Towson Friday afternoon at the Delaware Softball Stadium, 1-0 and 4-0, but the Blue Hens still clinched a berth in next week's Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.
Delaware dropped to 20-32 overall and 9-11 in the CAA but secured a spot in the conference tournament due to James Madison's 9-3 loss to Drexel Friday afternoon. The Blue Hens will be the fourth seed in the tournament, which will be held on May 11-13 at regular season champion Hofstra. Towson, which improved to 27-23 overall and 11-7 in conference play, will be the third seed in the championship, while Georgia State will be the second seed.
The CAA Tournament berth is the fifth for Delaware during the program’s 10 years in the conference, although it will be the Blue Hens’ first appearance since the 2006 season.
After both teams went scoreless in the first inning of the opener, Towson scored the only run of the game during the top of the second. Lindsey Kent opened the frame with a double to rightcenter, and after Jillian Donnelly walked, Blue Hen freshman Kathleen Conway replaced starting pitcher Hannah Rust in the circle for Delaware. Conway immediately struck out Haley Stueckler for the first out, but after a walk to Bina Abbott loaded the bases, Rachel Miller hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to drive home Kent.
That would be enough support for Towson pitcher Katie Lingmai, who allowed a one-out single to right by Michelle McKinnon in the bottom of the first but held the Blue Hens hitless the rest of the way. Delaware’s best chance to score came during the fifth inning when Michelle Grap and Brittney Noons each walked with one out, but Lingmai struck out Bertie Lake and retired Jenny Richards (at right) on a flyout to left to escape the jam.
Lingmai improved to 16-11 following her one-hitter, striking out six batters while posting her sixth shutout of the season. Rust was charged with one earned run on two hits in an inning of work while dropping to 0-9 on the year, while Conway (at left) gave up just two hits and struck out six in six innings of scoreless relief.
The Tigers immediately took control of the nightcap, as Miller led off with a single off Lake’s glove at first base and Sammi DiPompo followed with a single up the middle. After the runners each moved up a base on a passed ball, Miller scored the first run on a sacrifice fly to right by Erica Stasch. Andrea Stevenson then singled to leftcenter, chasing home DiPompo to give Towson an early two-run advantage.
Donnelly opened the second inning with a single to left, and after Courtney Wittner reached on an error by Blue Hen shortstop Becky Ellis, Amanda Stacevicz took over in the circle for UD starter Anne Marie Pagano. Abbott then dropped down a bunt but the throw to first by Delaware third baseman Michelle Grap was mishandled by McKinnon, allowing Donnelly to score Towson’s third run of the game.
The Tigers tacked on a final insurance run in the fifth when Andrea Stevenson led off with an infield single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kent, moved to third on a single up the middle by Brianna Jones, and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Donnelly.
Delaware mustered just three hits through the first five innings off Towson starter Dominque Ortega, before attempting to rally in the sixth. Richards led off with a single to center, but McKinnon’s line drive up the middle was snared by Ortega, who then doubled Richards off first. Lara Andrews followed with a walk before Stacevicz singled to shortstop, but Ortega retired Brittney Noons on a groundout to keep the Blue Hens off the board.
Delaware rallied again in the seventh when Rachel Jones led off with a single up the middle and Grap reached on an error by DiPompo at shortstop, but Ortega retired the next three Blue Hens to post her fourth shutout of the campaign. Ortega scattered six hits and walked just one while striking out six to improve to 10-11 on the season. Pagano fell to 4-6 for the Blue Hens after allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits in an inning of work, while Stacevicz was charged with one earned run on five hits in six relief frames.
Richards finished 2 for 4 for Delaware while Andrews, Stacevicz, Gina Knutson and Jones added a hit apiece.
The Blue Hens close out their 2011 regular season on Saturday with a single game against Towson beginning at 1 p.m. UD seniors Michelle Grap and Anne Marie Pagano will be honored in a pregame ceremony prior to playing their final game at the Delaware Softball Stadium.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive