CASTLETON, Vt. – Husson captured its second win in the North Atlantic Conference Tournament this afternoon with a 9-0 victory over the New England College Pilgrims at Spartan Field to advance to their 7th straight championship game. The Eagles approve to 25-11 overall and the Pilgrams fell to 18-16.
With the win, the Eagles improve to 25-11 on the season and will square off with the winner of game five (Thomas vs. New England College) at 2 pm tomorrow. The Pilgrims, meanwhile, fall to 18-16 with the loss and will now face Thomas in an elimination game tomorrow at noon.
Kayla Merrill turned in a fantastic start in game four, throwing four innings of shutout baseball with two strikeouts to notch her 14th win of the season. Her counterpart, Debra Mazzeo, suffered her eighth loss of the year after allowing nine runs (seven earned) in six innings of work.
Sami Schultz went 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs to lead a Husson squad that collected 13 hits. Casey Lopes added two hits and two RBIs of her own, while Chelsea Brennan notched her fourth home run of the season. For the Pilgrims, Kiley Williams recorded their lone hit of the ballgame with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first.
After four innings of shutout softball, Husson ended the drought with seven runs in the top of the fifth to take a 7-0 lead. With one on and one out, Allison Hill hit an RBI double to left field to plate the first runner of the game. Lyndsay Merrill followed with a single to center before Lopes sent a run-scoring single through the left side of the infield to push another Eagle run across.
Two batters later, Sami Schultz ripped a two-run double down the left field line, and Chelsea Brennan capped off the scoring in the fifth with a three-run shot that stayed just inside the left field foul pole to put Husson ahead by seven.
The Eagles added two more runs in the top of the sixth thanks to RBI singles from Haley Spiers and Lopes, as Alannah Healy tossed three innings of scoreless relief to secure the shutout with a 9-0 decision.
With the win, Husson forces the Pilgrims into an elimination game with Thomas tomorrow morning and the winner of that contest has to defeat the Eagles twice for NAC title.