Courtesy of Georgian Court University Athletics
MANCHESTER, N.H. (May 10, 2019) -- Georgian Court University's first NCAA Softball Regional run in five years has come to a close as the Lions, after defeating #8 University of Bridgeport by an 11-5 score, suffered a 7-0 shutout vs. Southern New Hampshire University to halt GCU's epic 2019 campaign.
The #5 Penmen, with their defeat of Georgian Court, now move on to the NCAA Division II East 1 Regional final where they will take on host and top seed, Saint Anselm College, Saturday afternoon with the winner advancing to the Super Regional round vs. either #2 LIU Post or #7 University of New Haven.
The Lions (46-10) launched four home runs in the opener to account for six of GCU's 11 tallies. Caitlin Hughes (3-for-4) led off the contest with an opposite-field shot to left (4th of year), putting Georgian Court up 1-0. Malaya Black also pounded her fourth long ball of the season, a two-run shot in the third, to increase the GCU lead to 5-1.
After a run-permitting wild pitch in the fourth by the Bridgeport staff made the score 7-1 Lions, the Purple Knights (33-16) pounced for five runs over the next two frames to slice the deficit to 8-6. Georgian Court rebounded immediately in the home half of the sixth as Samantha Reilly (18th of year) and Eryka Springer (12th) launched back-to-back blasts to secure the triumph.
Jessica O'Neil improved to 19-2 in the circle for GCU, permitting three runs (2 ER) on seven hits and a pair of free passes over five innings of work.
What the long ball giveth, the long ball taketh away. Southern New Hampshire proved this theory in triplicate in the second elimination game of the day as the Penmen popped a pair of dingers in the fifth inning, and an insurance blast in the seventh, to seal the 7-0 win.
SNHU third baseman, Emily Critch, laid claim to two of the Penmen's pops as the sophomore collected four RBI in SNHU's second win over Georgian Court in as many days.
Maddy Barone (20-6) went the distance for the shutout victory (2 H, 2 BB, 2 K). Mikayla Gilgert, in the final start of her fantastic freshman campaign, permitted four runs ( 0 ER) on four hits and two walks (1 K) over 4.2 innings to fall to 17-8 on the year.
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Nyack College, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.