Pfeiffer Advances to ECAC Title Game in 5-3 Extra-Inning Win over Neumann
ERIE, Pa. – In the second semifinal game of the 2019 ECAC Softball Championship on Saturday afternoon, the third-seeded Pfeiffer University downed the second-seeded Neumann University, 5-3, in extra-innings to advance to the championship game later that day to face host Penn State Behrend.
Pfeiffer's sophomore Reece Davis (Hickory, N.C.) finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs scored, a double and a three-run home run, her fifth of the season. Teammate freshman Alexis Walter (Taylorsville, N.C.) tallied a pair of hits, while sophomore Sara Brown (Franklin County, Va.) went 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI.
After a scoreless first inning for both teams, Pfeiffer jumped out to early 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Davis doubled to left with one down and later crossed the plate as Brown doubled to center. Maranda Benton (Midland, N.C.) singled into the right center field gap to drive in Brown from second before the inning came to an end.
Both teams went scoreless for the next three innings before the Knights were able to push a pair of runs across the plate in the bottom of the six to tie the game, 2-2. Junior Jackie Selby (Verona, N.J.) got things started as she doubled to left field before scoring off a double down the right field line that landed on the chalk by junior Kierstin Faller (Wilmington, Del.). A single to center by junior Kate Korte' (Egg Harbor, Twp., N.J.) allowed Faller to score and tie the game.
Pfeiffer threaten to reclaim the lead in the top of the seventh as senior Vada Blue Sherrill (Hiddenite, N.C.) walked and stole second with two down. The Knights were able to get out of the inning as junior shortstop Kristina Del Gaiso (Turnersville, N.J.) avoided a collusion with the second baseman to grab an infield pop to close out the Falcons in the seventh.
The Falcons retook the lead in the first extra-inning off a three-run shot to make it, 5-2. Everything got start as junior Makenzie Pennell (Midland, N.C.) doubled to left field with no outs. Sophomore Kari Westerbeek (Warsaw, N.C.) drew a walk after senior Kiana Millisaps (Taylorsville, N.C.) fouled out to the third baseman. With one down, Davis parked a three-run home run off the first pitch she saw over the left field wall to give the Falcons their second lead of the game.
In Neumann's half of the eighth, Selby tripled to center field with one out before scoring as Korte' reached first on an error by the third baseman to make it, 5-3. Korte' later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Freshman Vanessa Bowen (Laurel Springs, N.J.) drew a walk which with two down which allowed the game-winning run to come to the plate in the version of sophomore Rachel Albertson (Mullica, Hill, N.J.). Pfeifer was able to get Albertson to groundout to second to end the game.
Millisaps earned the win in the circle for Pfeiffer as she scattered fives over 7.1 innings, striking out four and allowing two runs (both earned).
For the Knights, Selby went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, while scoring a pair of runs. Faller finished the game going 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Junior pitcher Nicole Wisser (Egg Harbor, Twp., N.J.) took the loss as she struck out seven in eight innings of work and allow five runs (all earned).