Creciun’s RBI Single in Tenth Inning Gives Delaware Dramatic 4-3 Victory Over Drexel; Blue Hens Earn CAA Tournament Berth
May 5, 2012
photos courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- Blue Hen freshman leftfielder Maggie Creciun (at right) singled home Kaitlyn Breneman with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the University of Delaware softball team a dramatic 4-3 victory over Drexel University in the teams’ regular season finale Saturday afternoon at the UD Softball Stadium.
The victory, along with James Madison’s 7-6 win over Towson in 11 innings later in the day, clinched the fourth seed for the Blue Hens in next week’s Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. Delaware (15-39-1, 8-12 CAA), making its second consecutive trip to the league championship, will face top-seeded Hofstra on the first day of the double elimination tournament, which will be held Wednesday through Friday in Hempstead, N.Y. James Madison will be the second seed in the tournament, while Georgia State will be the third seed.
Breneman opened the bottom of the 10th inning by working a walk, and after she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Marisa Newman, she advanced to third when Mary O’Reilly grounded out to third. Creciun then drilled a flyball deep into leftcenter and Drexel leftfielder Hanna Parrish could not make the running catch up against the fence, allowing Breneman to score the winning run.
UD junior righthander Chenxi Jiao went the distance in the circle for the Blue Hens, improving to 8-23 after allowing three earned runs on nine hits with five strikeouts. Drexel pitcher Hillary Allen also went the entire way, as she was charged with four earned runs on nine hits while dropping to 10-15 on the campaign.
Delaware took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning when Jessica Grisler led off with a walk and scored one out later when Michelle McKinnon ripped a double to leftfield. However Drexel would immediately answer in the second, as after Amanda Bachmann doubled to left with two outs and Caprice DeMirjian followed with an infield single, Comfort Ahonkhai tripled to left to drive home both runners and give the Dragons a 2-1 lead.
Drexel (22-26, 7-13 CAA) added an insurance run during the top of the fourth when Allen led off with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Maddison Timoteo, and scored when Bachmann ripped an RBI double to center. However the Blue Hens got a run back during the bottom of the frame as Lara Andrews doubled to leftcenter and scored when Newman (at left) bounced a two-out single to left.
The Dragons looked to add to their lead in the top of the sixth when a walk to Jenn Redding and a double by Timoteo put runners on second and third with one out, but Jiao got Bachmann to ground out to third and DeMirjian to fly out to right to escape the jam.
Delaware then pulled even during the bottom half as Morgan Culver led off with a single to right and eventually scored when Newman delivered a two-out RBI single to center.
The Blue Hens loaded the bases in each of the next two innings, but Allen got Mary O’Reilly to pop out to short to end the eighth and Andrews to pop out to second to end the ninth. However the Blue Hens finally pushed across the winning run in the 10th on Creciun’s run-scoring hit.
Newman finished 2 for 2 with a pair of RBI and a walk for Delaware, while McKinnon also had two hits while driving home a run.
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