Montclair State, the #1-seed in this regional, thus upped its record to 43-5. Springfield, the #6-seed, thus finished its season at 29-17. The Pride had lost to #3-seeded St. John Fisher, yesterday, 5-3, in this double-elimination format.
The only three players for Springfield with hits were sophomore catcher Michelle Wlosek (Nutley, N.J.), sophomore shortstop Jaimie Moran (Manchester, Conn.), and junior pinch-hitter Aimee Cassella (Southington, Conn.). Montclair State pitching faced only 26 batters, five above the minimum. SC managed the three hits and added two walks on the afternoon.
The first three innings were scoreless for both teams. In the top of the fourth, shortstop Jennifer Jiminez, who went 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI's, and two runs scored, led off with a solo home run to center field, making it 1-0, Montclair State.
Springfield probably had its best chance in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Wlosek singled. Shanda Kogut, a junior from Preston, Conn., pinch-ran and promptly stole second. With two outs, Moran singled to left, with Kogut advancing to third. Moran then moved up to second on an error by the left fielder. But senior 3B Lauren D'Arrigo (Lexington, Mass.) grounded out to the first baseman unassisted.
In the top of the fifth, Montclair State took advantage of two Pride miscues, and added two hits to score two unearned runs, making it 3-0. Jiminez singled in one of those runs.
It was still 3-0 entering the top of the seventh, when Montclair State added three more runs. Third baseman Jackie Ferranti led off with a home run to make it, 4-0. At this point, freshman right-hander Katie Anderson (Andover, Mass.) came on to pitch for junior left-handed starter Samantha Rhodes (Mendon, Mass.). MSU left-fielder Leslie Gonzalez singled to greet Anderson, and then Jiminez hit her second home run of the day to conclude the scoring.
Carolyn McCrea was the winning pitcher, raising her record to 24-4. She struck out six and walked two. Elia Persico pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning for Montclair State. Rhodes took the loss, and finished the season at 22-7. The 22 wins tied for second most in Springfield College softball history. Rhodes gave up seven hits and four runs, only two of which were earned. She struck out one and walked one in facing 28 batters over 6+ innings. Anderson gave up two runs on three hits in her one inning of work.
Wlosek was later named to the All-Regional Tourney team.
Springfield loses only two seniors from this squad. They include D'Arrigo, a part-time starter at third base, and starting 2B Denise Fumicello (Brockton, Mass.). SC has met with much success over the past two seasons, winning the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference regular-season crown in 2007, and the NEWMAC post-season title in 2008. The appearance by Springfield College in this NCAA Tourney was SC's first in the NCAA's since 2000.