May 16, 2009
Amherst, MA-Brandice Balschmiter tossed a perfect game as the Pioneers dropped an elimination game to #21 UMass, 8-0 in five innings. The loss officially eliminated Sacred Heart from the 2009 NCAA softball tournament. UMass leadoff hitter Carly Normandin went 3-4 with three RBI’s as the Minutewomen will advance to tomorrow’s regional final against #3 Washington.
Sacred Heart (26-28)kept the Minutewomen off the board in the first as senior right fielder Jessica Perez (Santa Maria, CA) cut down a runner attempting to go first to third on a single with a fantastic throw right on the bag. Balschmiter struck out six Pioneers as she held a team hitless for the third time in 2009.
UMass (40-9) broke through in the second frame after the first two hitters walked on border line 3-2 pitches. The Pioneers would end up conceeding three runs in the inning but also managed to cut down a runner at the plate as Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) threw home to catcher Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) for the second out of the frame.
The Minutewomen tacked on two runs in the fourth and three more in fifth to extend their lead to 8-0. Balschmiter set aside the Pioneers in order in the fifth as the game was called due to the run rule. The Amherst regional final will be a rematch of today’s first game as Washington and UMass will square off tomorrow afternoon.
The Pioneers finish the 2009 season with a record of 26-28 reaching several milestones during this historic season. Sacred Heart made its first appearance and claimed its first NEC title last week at the Northeast Conference Championship at St. John’s University. The Pioneers win over Cornell in the Amherst regional marked the school’s first win in any division I tournament. The SHU softball team will look to build off their tremendous success this season as they look ahead to 2010.