May 16, 2009
Amherst, MA-The Sacred Heart Pioneer softball teamthe school's first victory in a division I NCAA tournament with a 3-1 victory over Cornell Saturday afternoon. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) led off the first inning with a home run to center field and Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) provided the game winning runs with a two-run single in the third. Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) allowed just five hits and struck out six to pick up her 19th win of 2009.
Sacred Heart (26-27) jumped out early on the strength of Froelich's ninth home run of the season. Russell, the Pioneer ace, rebounded from a tough outing yesterday and retired the first seven batters she faced, striking out four in a row. Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) and Amanda Bradley (Langley, BC) led off the third inning with back-to-back singles. McCoy would provide SHU with a pair of insurance runs lacing a single into left field.
Cornell (42-13) got its only run of the game on an Ashley Garvey homer in the fourth. Garvey's dinger is only the second home run allowed by Russell all season. The Pioneers worked around a leadoff double in the seventh inning as Russell retired the next three batters she faced to give Sacred Heart the 3-1 victory. With the loss Cornell was eliminated from the NCAA tournament.
After the game Co-Head Coach Bippy Luckie commented on the historic win, "The girls were back to themselves playing relaxed and intense. We played like we have been the last three weeks and the look in their eyes before the game told me they were going to win today."
The Pioneers will be right back in action at 7:40 pm tonight as they take on #21 UMass in another elimination game. The winner of tonight's will advance to tomorrow's regional final against #3 Washington.