PROVIDENCE, RI – It took one more game than the Johnson & Wales University softball team would have liked, but the Wildcats captured their third-straight conference championship. After dropping the first game to Suffolk, 3-2, the Wildcats downed the Rams, 15-5, to win the GNAC title.
Johnson & Wales: 34-8
Meghan Gavin (JWU): 3-5, 4 R, 3 RBI (GM 2)
Brenna DuPerry (JWU): 3-4, 2 R, 1 RBI (GM 2)
Jaclyn Flint (SUF): 1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI (GM 1) / 1-3, 1 R, 2 RBI (GM 2)
JWU rebounded from the game one loss to score a run in every at-bat of game two. Tiffani Semanchik (Flemington, NJ) got the scoring started in the top of the first with an infield single to score Meghan Gavin (Wallingford, Conn.).
Catcher Sierra Allen (Jurupa Valley, Calif.) started a three-run second inning with a solo home run. A deep fly ball from Gavin scored Brenna DuPerry (Cranston, RI) and Alex Fantasia (Framingham, Mass.).
Delaney Sylvester cranked her second home run of the day in the bottom of the second. It was Jaclyn Flint's turn in the fourth as she hit her second two-run home run in as many games started a four-run fourth. Lindsay Pagano pulled the Rams within 6-5 on a two-run single.
The Wildcats answered Suffolk's four runs with four of their own in the top of the fifth. Two runs came in without a base hit as Kristin Frost (Pearl City, Hawaii) was walked with the bases loaded then Ally Mishol (Longmeadow, Mass.) got plunked with the bases full.
Johnson & Wales ended the game early with a five-spot in the sixth inning. The big blow was a two-run single by Emily Gorecki (Bremerton, Wash.). Pitcher Jennifer Corona (Middle Island, NY) threw the final three innings to pick up the victory.
JWU broke through for the first run in game one in the bottom of the third. Fantasia ripped a double to right field then score on Gavin's two-out single.
Sylvester tied the game in the fifth when she led off the inning with a solo home run.
The long ball gave the Rams the lead in the top of the sixth. Ashley Zulla kept the inning alive with a two-out single then Flint hit a two-run home run to left field that proved to be the game-winning hit.
JWU got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Diana Amendolara (Newtown, Pa.) cranked a solo home run, her second of the tournament.
Diana Amendolara, JWU - MVP
Jennifer Corona, JWU
Brenna DuPerry, JWU
Alex Fantasia, JWU
Delaney Sylvester, Suffolk
Ali Yamakaitis, Suffolk
Lindsay Pagano, Suffolk
Megan Kelly, Albertus Magnus
Rachel Cataudellu, Albertus Magnus
Kylie McFadden, St. Joseph's
Carla Tripp, St. Joseph's