Union, NJ – After working through a 20-hour rain delay, the Husson University softball team topped Keene State College 1-0 in an elimination game at the 2014 NCAA Division III Softball Championship Union Regional on Sunday.
Both teams were scoreless through the first three innings on Saturday, with Keene State's Mariah Crisp throwing a perfect game in the first three innings. But then rain descended on Cougar Field and did not allow any more innings to be completed on Saturday.
After the rain delay, the game resumed on Sunday morning. Husson got its first baserunner when Allie Hill (Calais, ME) walked and stole second. But neither side scored in the opening (4th) inning on Sunday.
Both Crisp and Husson's hurler Kayla Merrill (Bethel, ME) were on point, firing zeroes until the seventh inning.
In the final frame, Breanna Martin (Oxford, ME) led off for the Eagles with a booming double to right field. Casey Lopes (New Bedford, MA) moved the pinch runner, Sarah Babin (Brewer, ME), to third, and Jess Poulin (Albion, ME) came through with a clutch single – the only RBI of the game – to give Merrill the only support she would need.
Merrill struck out seven Owls and scattered six hits to earn the shutout victory.
Husson will play again at 11:30 a.m. against Lebanon Valley College for the right to advance to the Championship series.
Keene State has been eliminated from the NCAA Championship and ends its season with a 19-19 record.