Softball Falls in 10 Innings to Reigning League Champion Adelphi, 3-2, in NE-10 Quarterfinals
Links: Box Score
WEST HAVEN, Conn. – With the scored tied at two runs apiece in the 10th inning, reigning Northeast-10 Conference champion Adelphi came to the plate and smacked a walk-off solo home run in the bottom half of the inning, as the Merrimack College softball team came up just short, 3-2, in the league's quarterfinal round on Friday afternoon.
Score: Adelphi 3, Merrimack 2
Records: Merrimack (21-20) | Adelphi (27-17)
Location: UNH Softball Field | West Haven, Conn.
How It Happened
In a winner-move-on, loser-goes-home single-elimination showdown, Merrimack and Adelphi, the No. 2 seed from the Southwest Division, battled through four scoreless innings before the Warriors snapped the scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the fifth.
After seniors Ashley Perry (Winchendon, Mass.) and Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.) led off the inning with a double and single, respectively, sophomore Brittany Razo (Anaheim, Calif.) came to the plate and drove in a run by means of a sacrifice fly before senior Kelsey Francher (Weare, N.H.) followed suit with a base knock through the left side of the infield to push the Navy and Gold up 2-0.
But after being kept off the board for five straight innings thanks to some strong defense and a fine outing by sophomore Alexis Perry (Westford, Vt.), the Panthers finally plated a run after a fielding error to lead off the inning, followed by an infield single and a run-scoring groundout.
Merrimack had an opportunity for some insurance in the top of the seventh but stranded a runner at second, sending the Panthers back up to bat down by just a run.
Adelphi would single to lead off the bottom of the seventh, prompting the entrance of freshman Haley Currie (Burlington, Mass.) out of the bullpen; the Panthers would then draw a walk and then blooped a single down the right field line to load the bases, setting the stage for a game-tying sacrifice fly to center field, bringing both sides even at 2-2 and sending the contest to extras.
In the eighth and ninth, Currie and Adelphi reliever Lindsay Mapes – who entered the game in the top of the seventh in place of NE-10 Player of the Year Katie Andrews – faced little adversity in keeping each side off the board. Merrimack would then go in order in the top of the 10th before Niki Barbato stepped into the box and ripped a leadoff, game-winning walk-off home run to left in the bottom half of the inning to end it.
Inside The Numbers
- Missed opportunities haunted both sides, as the two teams combined for 19 stranded runners, including 11 for Adelphi
- Merrimack was limited to just five hits in 32 at-bats (.156), while the Panthers batted 12-for-36 (.333) as a team
- Barbato led all players with two RBI and was one of four Panthers to finish with two hits, while Perry was the only player for the Warriors to finish with multiple hits
- Merrimack's pitchers combined for five strikeouts, while Adelphi's fanned 12 total – including seven for Maples
- Merrimack committed three errors defensively compared to none for Adelphi
The Warriors will now await their NCAA Tournament at-large berth fate, as the Division II selection show airs Monday (May 5) at 10 a.m.