How Sweep It Is! Pioneers Clinch NEC Playoff Birth With Two Wins Over FDU
April 25, 2009
Fairfield, CT- The Sacred Heart softball team swept Fairleigh Dickinson with identical 9-1 scores on senior day and is now heading to the NEC playoffs for the first time in program history. Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) pitched complete games in both ends of the double header and allowed no earned runs while striking out 12 batters. Shannon McCoy (Yorba Linda, CA) led the Pioneers with seven RBI’s in the two victories.
Sacred Heart (18-26, 11-7 NEC) exploded out of the gates to score five runs in the first inning of game one. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) led the game off with a double to left center en route to her 5-8 performance on the afternoon. Jessica Perez (Santa Maria, CA) brought her home just one batter later with an RBI single. Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA) made it three straight hits with a single of her own and after an Amanda Bradley (Langley, BC) sacrifice McCoy made it 3-0 on a two RBI single down the left field line. Jasmin Vicente (Wantagh, NY) contributed an RBI of her own in the frame and Froelich would bat again and drive in the Pioneers fifth run.
The Pioneers extended their lead in the second inning as Lee led off with a walk and then stole second. Adrian Fitzsimon (Sacramento, CA) would single down the right field line to score Lee and make it a six run game. Vicente would drive in another run with her second RBI single as she went 3-3 for the game. Alyssa Garza (Santa Clarita, CA) got into the act drawing a bases loaded walk to give the Pioneers an 8-0 advantage.
Russell worked out of trouble in each of the first two innings but did not allow a run stranding five base runners. She would finish with seven K’s in game one and allowed just one unearned run. Lee started the fifth inning with a double and McCoy would bring her in with a walk off RBI single to end the game in five innings, 9-1.
Fairleigh Dickinson (9-35, 4-14 NEC) struck first in game two on the heels of a Kirsten Shreve RBI single in the third. SHU would come storming back and put up a seven spot in the bottom half of the inning. Froelich would again start the rally with an RBI single. McCoy came up with a two RBI single later in the frame to bring home Froelich and Lee. Lee made a fantastic slide, touching the back corner of the dish, to beat the play at the plate and keep the inning alive. Sacred Heart took advantage of two Knights errors in the inning and batted around for the third time in the day as Froelich capped the inning with a two-run double.
Russell, who leads the NEC in complete games, pitched her second of the day and allowed just two hits as she lowered her ERA to 1.60 on the year. Betsy Harvey (Unionville, CT) and Fitzsimon provided RBI singles in the fourth to make the Sacred Heart advantage 9-1. The Knights had a runner on third base with two outs in the fifth but Fitzsimon made a superb running catch in the left center field gap to corral the final out in the Pioneers sweep over FDU.
Sacred Heart clinched its playoff berth a sweep of the Knights coupled with a split between Mount St. Mary’s and Quinnipiac as well as a Saint Francis (PA) loss to Wagner. The Pioneers will enter the tournament as either the three or four seed depending on tomorrow’s results. Before that Sacred Heart must finish up the regular season which continues Tuesday at Seton Hall. First pitch is set for 4:00 pm in South Orange, NJ.