Hofstra Defeats Delaware, 9-0 in Five Innings, During First Day of CAA Softball Tournament; Will Face Towson in Elimination Game Thursday
May 11, 2011
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. –Hofstra righthander Olivia Galati fired a one-hit shutout while the Pride scored in all four innings as Hofstra posted a 9-0, five-inning victory over the University of Delaware Wednesday afternoon on the first day of the Colonial Athletic Association Softball Tournament.
The top-seeded Pride, who improved to 39-11 on the season, advance to Thursday’s 12 noon game where they will play No. 2 seed Georgia State, which defeated No. 4 seed Towson 3-2 in 12 innings on Wednesday evening.
Delaware will be looking to stave off elimination as the Blue Hens will take on Towson in the loser's bracket matchup Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to a 5 p.m. meeting with the loser of the Hofstra-Georgia State game.
Hofstra improved to 19-0 at home this season and extended its nation’s leading home winning streak to 29 games.
Fourth-seeded Delaware, making its first CAA Tournament appearance since the 2006 season, fell to 21-33 on the season. The Blue Hens will play Thursday at 2:30 p.m. against the loser of the Georgia State-Towson game.
The Pride took the early lead by pushing across an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Rachel Senatore was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, and UD pitcher Amanda Stacevicz then mishandled a bunt by Michelle Lavagnino, putting two runners on base.
After another sacrifice bunt by Jess Hirschbuhl moved the runners to second and third, Sara Michalowski flied out to the fence in center field, allowing Senatore to score the game’s first run.
The Pride added another single run in the second when Laura Valentino drilled a pitch over the fence in leftcenter to make it a 2-0 game.
Hofstra then took control by scoring four runs in the bottom of the third. Stacevicz struck out Senatore to open the inning, but Lavagnino ignited the spurt with a chop single over the head of UD third baseman Michelle Grap.
Hirschbuhl then drilled a single into left field to put runners on first and second, before Michalowski lined a double that dropped just inside the rightfield line, driving home Lavagnino to put Hofstra up three. Tessa Ziemba followed with a liner to shallow left that barely eluded a diving Richards, allowing Hirschbuhl to score the Pride’s fourth run of the afternoon.
Galati then singled up the middle to chase home two more runs as Hofstra took a six-run advantage.
Following a walk to Valentino UD freshman Kathleen Conway replaced Stacevicz in the circle for the Blue Hens, and she quickly retired two Hofstra batters to escape further damage.
After going hitless through the first three innings, Blue Hen second baseman Michelle McKinnon (above at right) opened the top of the fourth by stroking a single into left field. Lara Andrews then lined a pitch into rightcenter that was dropped by Senatore, but she recovered to retire McKinnon for the force at second. Galati then got Stacevicz on a pop up back to the circle and struck out Gina Knutson to keep Delaware off the board.
Conway retired the first two Hofstra batters during the bottom of the fourth but after she walked Hirschbuhl and Michalowski, Ziemba drilled a long three-run homer to rightcenter to increase the margin to nine.
Blue Hen rightfielder Rachel Jones led off the top of the fifth by working a walk, but Galati retired the next three UD batters to complete her 16th shutout of the season.
Galali, the two-time CAA Pitcher of the Year, improved to 28-7 after striking out nine Blue Hens. Stacevicz, who dropped her first decision since falling to Hofstra on April 3, fell to 11-9 after allowing six runs, five earned, on seven hits in 2.1 innings of work. Conway was charged with three earned runs on just one hit during 1.2 relief frames.
Ziemba paced the eight-hit Hofstra attack by finishing 2 for 3 with four RBI and two runs scored while Michalowski, the CAA Player of the Year, had a double to go with two RBI and a pair of runs scored.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive