Babson Park, Mass. - May 11, 2013 - Both Christina Leader and Jenna Webb went 3-for-4 and fueled a late-inning comeback as the Springfield College softball team rallied for a 2-1 victory against Husson in its third game of the 2013 NCAA Division III Softball Championship.
Springfield is now 28-19 and will play on Sunday at 12:00 am against the winner of Rowan. Husson sees its season come to an end at 31-12-1.
First-year Melissa Nelson had a pair of hits and senior Chelsea Bender and junior Elizabeth Joseph each drove in a run for the Pride.
Sophomore Heidi Shaw led the Eagles with two hits while senior Aimee Mortensen doubled and scored. Sophomore Deb Colpitts drove in Husson’s lone run.
Junior Amanda Ryan, making her second start of the regional for the Eagles, got two quick outs before Nelson and Webb hit back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners for the Pride. Ryan was able to get out of the inning without any damage on a fly ball to right, and Husson helped her by taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame as Mortensen cracked a two-out double to left and Colpitts followed with an RBI single.
The Eagles, who picked up four of their six hits in the first three innings, left runners on the corners in the second inning and then left two more on in the third, unable to extend their lead. Springfield, meanwhile, got one-out singles from Joseph in the second and Leader with both advancing to scoring position but unable to score in the second and third innings, respectively.
Both Ryan and Pride starter, junior Jennifer Joseph got into a groove in the middle innings. Joseph allowed just one hit over the fourth and fifth innings while Ryan retired eight consecutive batters after the Joseph single before getting into trouble to start the sixth inning.
Leader started the Springfield rally as she slide head-first to beat out an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nelson. Webb hammered a double to the base of the centerfield wall to put a pair in scoring position and after sophomore Kayla Merrill came on to relieve Ryan, Bender drove home Leader with a single to left field, tying the game at 1-1.
Merrill then intenionally walked senior Breann Joyce to load the bases and Joseph followed by a sac fly to right field, plating Webb to give Springfield a 2-1 lead. Merrill finished the inning with a strikeout to avoid any further damage.
The Pride threatened to break the game open in the top of the seventh as Leader, Nelson and Webb hit three straight two-out singles to load the bases, but junior Becca McCarty fanned Joyce to keep Husson within a run.
Sophomore Casie Cadorette made the lead stand up for Springfield, striking out a pair and allowing just one hit over the final two innings to earn her second save of the season. Joseph, who gave up a run on five hits while striking out two and walking two over five innings, won for the second time in the regional to move to 17-7 on the year.
Ryan, who fell to 10-5 with the loss, tossed 5 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits. Merrill gave up three hits over an inning and a third in relief with one strikeout and one base on balls.