(5/5) Game 7 - King's 6 Wilkes 3 (King's wins conference championship)
Game 6 - Wilkes 5 King's 1
Game 5 - Wilkes 4 FDU-Florham 1 (FDU-Florham eliminated)
Game 4 - Wilkes 5 Delaware Valley 0 (Delaware Valley eliminated)
King’s College overcame a spirited effort from Wilkes University to post a 6-3 win over the Lady Colonels and claim the Freedom Conference softball title on Saturday afternoon at the Ralston Complex.
The Lady Monarchs improved to 33-7 overall and copped the conference’s automatic bid into the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament. Wilkes saw their record fall to 24-13.
Wilkes, which dropped a 1-0 decision to FDU-Florham in their opening game on Friday, rattled off three straight wins on Saturday to move into the championship contest. The Lady Colonels opened the day with a 5-0 win over Delaware Valley College. They would exact some revenge in their next game when they posted a 4-1 victory over FDU-Florham. Wilkes forced a seventh and deciding game with King’s by scoring a 5-1 win over the Lady Monarchs in their third game of the day.
The Lady Colonels took a 1-0 lead in the title game when Gina Stefanelli hit a solo homer in the third inning.
The game would stay that way until King’s used a homer of their own to take control in the fifth. Abbey Knoblauch and Justine Maggio singled to start the inning. Leanne Harvey followed by reaching on an error that loaded the bases with no outs. Mari Valonis would provide the decisive blow when she cracked a grand slam to right-center field that gave King’s a 4-1 lead.
Wilkes cut the lead to 4-2 in the sixth when Stefanelli hit her second homer of the game. But, King’s plated a pair of runs in the top of the seventh on RBI-singles by Julie Bidwell and Meaghan Galvin to extend the lead to 6-2.
Sara Miller would hit a solo homerun for Wilkes in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it 6-3. But, that is as close as the Lady Colonels would get.
Lindsay Hoerner (11-2), who was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, picked up the win after scattering six hits in seven innings of work. Laurie Agresti (16-4), who pitched 22 of the 28 innings that Wilkes played on Saturday, suffered the loss. Agresti allowed eight hits and four earned runs, while striking out 10, in 6.2 innings.
Knoblauch had three hits to pace an 11-hit King’s attack. Valonis and Maggio contributed two hits apiece for the Lady Monarchs.
Agresti helped Wilkes force the deciding game by tossing a one-hitter in the Lady Colonels 5-1 win over King’s. The senior struck out 13 and walked only one. The lone hit she allowed was a lead-off bunt single to Harvey in the seventh. Kelsey Shreaves (14-3) took the loss after surrendering 12 hits and four earned runs in seven frames.
Wilkes jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a solo homer by Julie Henry in the bottom of the fourth. They would tack on one more run in the inning on an RBI-double by Stefanelli to make it 2-0.
The Lady Colonels pushed across three more runs in the sixth to extend their lead to 5-0. Alex Ingram led off with a single and moved to third on a one-out single by Stefanelli. Melisa Bracone followed with a base hit that scored Ingram and made it 3-0. A King’s error on a ball hit by Erin Plank would score Stefanelli and push the lead to 4-0. Kathy Dalton then delivered Bracone with a single to give Wilkes a 5-0 edge.
King’s scored their lone run in the seventh. After Harvey singled, Valonis reached on a two-base error to place runners at second and third. Agresti would strike out Hoerner before Rebecca Loring grounded out to score Harvey and cut the gap to 5-1. Agresti then got Shreaves to pop out in the infield to end the game.
Bracone had three hits to lead Wilkes, who had 12 hits in the game. Stefanelli, Dalton, Ingram and Kerry Finnerty added two hits each.
In game two of the day, FDU-Florham took a 1-0 lead in the third on an RBI-double by Katelyn Smith.
However, Wilkes would respond by scoring twice in both the fifth and seventh innings to pull out the win. Dalton singled, stole second and scored on a single by Katie Orr in the fifth to knot the game at 1-1. Orr, who raced all the way to third on the throw home trying to nail Dalton, would give Wilkes a 2-1 lead when she trotted home following a single by Stefanelli.
Dalton keyed the two-run spurt in the seventh by doubling to start the frame. After Dalton stole third, Miller stepped to the plate and ripped a two-run homer to provide the Lady Colonels with some breathing room, 4-1.
Evanich went the first 5.2 innings and allowed five hits and one unearned run to pick up the win and improve to 8-7. Agresti who struck out three in 1.1 innings of relief work, was credited with her first save of the season. Smith (12-6) pitched six innings and allowed six hits and three runs to take the loss for FDU-Florham.
Stefanelli and Dalton were two-time hitters for Wilkes in the contest. FDU-Florham had five hits by five different players. Smith’s double was the only extra-base hit for the Devils.
Wilkes opened the day with a 5-0 win over Delaware Valley to eliminate the Aggies. The game was tied at 0-0 before Bracone launched a two-run homer in the third to provide the Lady Colonels with a 2-0 lead.
Wilkes tacked on three runs in the fifth inning to pull away. Stefanelli reached on an error and Bracone singled to set the stage for a run-scoring double by Plank that scored Stefanelli and made it 3-0. Henry followed with a two-run single to up the lead to 5-0.
That was more than enough for Agresti, who twirled a two-hitter with 12 strikeouts to pick up the win. Jennifer Bummer (7-6) suffered the loss for Delaware Valley after allowing six hits and two earned runs in six innings.
Bracone and Plank had two hits each for Wilkes. Kim Harle and Maureen Ferguson had the hits for Delaware Valley.
(5/4) Game 3 - King's 11 FDU-Florham 3 (6 Inn.)
(5/4) Game 2 - FDU-Florham 1 Wilkes 0
(5/4) Game 1 - King's 4 Delaware Valley 3
King’s College won a pair of games on Friday to advance to the championship round of the Freedom Conference Softball Championship at Wilkes University’s Ralston Complex.
The Lady Monarchs (32-6), the top seed in the event, opened the day with a 4-3 win over fourth-seeded Delaware Valley College (16-13). In the second game of the day third-seeded FDU-Florham (21-18) squeezed out a 1-0 win over second-seeded Wilkes (21-12). King’s then posted an 11-3 win in six innings over FDU-Florham to move on top Saturday’s title tilt.
Wilkes senior pitcher Laurie Agresti highlighted the day’s action by becoming just the fifth pitcher in NCAA Division III history to surpass the 1,000 strikeout milestone for her career. Agresti reached the plateau in the sixth inning when she fanned Christine Heyl. The right-hander concluded the day with 1,002 strikeouts during her illustrious career.
The tournament will continue on Saturday when Wilkes and Delaware Valley meet in an elimination game at 9:00 a.m. The winner of that contest will take on FDU-Florham at 11:00 a.m. for a spot in the championship round opposite King’s. Should the Lady Monarchs fall in the first championship game at 1:00 p.m., a deciding game would be played at 3:00 p.m.
In the first game of the day King’s rallied from a 3-0 deficit to pull out the win over Delaware Valley. The Aggies took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI-single by Kelly Andrews. Andrews would come up with another big hit in the third when she drove in a run with a double that extended the lead to 2-0. She then scored the final run of the inning on a single by Nicole Dorney that gave Delaware Valley a three-run lead.
King’s began their comeback by plating a run in the fourth. Becky Loring tripled and scored on a fielder’s choice by Sue Roccia to get the Lady Monarchs on the board. King’s would put together four hits to score three times with two outs in the fifth inning to take a lead they would never relinquish. Kelsey Shreaves had a two-run single that tied the game at 3-3. With the bases loaded Delaware Valley reliever Jen Bummer walked Julie Bidwell to force in the go-ahead run.
Shreaves (14-2) earned the win on the mound for King’s after giving up seven hits and three runs in five innings. Lindsay Hoerner notched her second save of the campaign, surrendering only one hit and fanning four in two innings of relief work. Kirstyn Ruhling (6-6) took the loss for Delaware Valley after she was tagged for nine hits and four runs in 4.2 frames.
Shreaves and Loring had two hits apiece for King’s in the contest. Andrews and Nancy Kauffman finished with two hits each for the Aggies.
In game two, FDU-Florham took advantage of two Wilkes defensive miscues in the fifth inning to plate the only run of the game and post the win.
Amy Beideman led off the inning with a walk. Leah Minnick followed with a sacrifice bunt that was thrown away allowing Beideman to reach third and Minnick to go to second. The ball was retrieved in the outfield, however the throw back into the infield was also off target and Beideman trotted home to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. With Minnick still on second Kristin Loriot got FDU-Florham’s only hit of the game, a single to center field. However, Wilkes center fielder Alex Ingram was able to nail Minnick at the plate for the final out of the inning.
The game featured an outstanding pitchers duel between FDU-Florham’s Katelyn Smith and Agresti. Smith (12-6) gave up only three hits and one walk, while striking out 12. Agresti (14-3) allowed just one hit and one walk and finished with 13 strikeouts.
Gina Stefanelli, Melisa Bracone and Erin Plank had a single apiece for Wilkes, which left five runners on base, including three in scoring position.
FDU-Florham struck for three runs in the first inning of game three to chase King’s starter Amanda Rizner. Kelly Nover doubled and scored on a two-run homer by Christine Heyl to make it a 2-0 game. Julie Hartnett then singled and scored on a double by Minnick to up the lead to 3-0 after one-half inning.
King’s would respond in the bottom of the third with four runs to take the lead. Singles by Abbey Knoblauch and Leanne Harvey sandwiched around a walk to Maggio loaded the bases with no outs. Mari Valonis singled to score Knoblauch and cut the lead to 3-1. Hoerner then lined a two-run single to tie the contest a 3-3. Loring would follow with a run-scoring single that put the Lady Monarchs ahead 4-3.
King’s tacked on three runs in the fourth inning to extend their advantage to 7-3. Harvey had an RBI-single during the out-burst, while Valonis added a run-scoring double. Hoerner also drove in a run with a ground out.
A single run in the fifth on a single by Harvey would push the lead to 8-3. King’s then put the game away via the eight-run rule by plating three more runs in the sixth. Christie Parfitt single to drive in a run before Knoblauch doubled to score the final two runs and end the game.
Hoerner came on to pitch 5.1 innings of solid relief to earn the win and improve to 10-2. She gave up four hits and struck out four during her stint on the mound. Hartnett saw her record even at 9-9 after allowing six hits and four runs in two innings of work.
Knoblauch and Harvey led a 15-hit King’s attack with three hits, two RBI’s and two runs scored each. Hoerner, who drove in three runs, Valonis, who had two RBI’s, Loring and Meaghan Galvin chipped in with two hits apiece for the Lady Monarchs.
Nover and Hartnett had two hits apiece to pace FDU-Florham at the plate. The Devils finished the game with eight hits.