EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ – All afternoon the Johnson & Wales University softball team had chances to break open its first round NCAA Tournament game against No. 19 TCNJ on Friday. The Wildcats finally got a pair of runs in the sixth to defeat the Lions, 3-1.
Johnson & Wales: 32-11
The Wildcats will now face Salisbury at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The Sea Gulls defeated Moravian 3-2 in the opener.
TCNJ quickly got on the board when Lauren Conroy hit a two-out home run in the bottom of the first inning.
Johnson & Wales got a run in the top of the third without a hit. Shortstop Brenna DuPerry was hit by a pitch, moved up to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. JWU tied the game on a Katie Rufo sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats got two more in the top of the sixth to take lead. Singles by DuPerry and Meghan Gavin loaded the bases. Alex Fantasia beat the throw to the plate on Kristin Frost's grounder then another Rufo sacrifice fly plated DuPerry again.
After the first inning, the Lions couldn't solve JWU starter Jennifer Corona. She gave up one run on five hits with only one walk. It's the third NCAA Tournament victory of her career.