Brooklyn, N.Y. (May 9, 2019)—Mount St. Mary's fell to top-seeded LIU Brooklyn, 8-1, in the first round of the Northeast Conference Softball Tournament at LIU Field on Thursday afternoon. LIU's Ryleigh Bermea hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning to break open a one-run game.
The Mount's Kaylee Stoner sent the first pitch of the game right back up the middle for a base hit. The Blackbirds were able to keep the Mount off the scoreboard with a grounder to short and a double play on a line drive to second base. The Blackbirds (34-16) then broke out to the early lead in the bottom of the first. Patricia Griffin beat out an infield hit to second base to start the inning. Camryn Lyman grounded out to short with the Mount getting the lead runner, but with two outs, Alina Castillo drove a triple to the opposite field down the left field line to give LIU a 1-0 lead. Samantha Garcia followed with a single on a sinking liner to center field that scored Castillo. Stoner made a diving attempt on the Garcia hit, but saw the ball bounce out of her glove when she hit the ground.
The score remained 2-0 until the Mount got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, Kaia Bonshock singled up the middle to start the rally. Pinch runner Lexi Donovan stole second base, and Jessica Nines worked a walk to put two runners on base. Emilee Kirk followed with a base hit to load the bases, and Kate Wade brought home a run on a groundout to short. Stoner was walked intentionally to load the bases, but LIU's Elena Valenzuela got out of the jam by getting Mariah Godde to ground out to short to end the inning.
The Blackbirds opened the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back singles by Schae Dickson and Castillo to put runners on first and second. After a fly out to left, Kiana Cisneros walked to load the bases for Bermea, who connected on a grand slam home run to left to give LIU a 6-1 lead. LIU added to the lead in the bottom of the sixth when Griffin and Lyman recorded back-to-back doubles to make it 7-1. Castillo then added a sacrifice fly to plate Lyman to push the LIU advantage to 8-1.
Bonshock went 2-for-3 at the plate to pace the Mount offense while Stoner and Kirk also had base hits. Amanda Berkley pitched five-plus innings, allowing eight runs in the game. Katie Olson pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Mountaineers.
Griffin went 4-for-4 at the plate to pace LIU Brooklyn while Castillo was 3-for-3 in the win. Valenzuela allowed one run in the complete-game four-hitter.
The Mount (25-27) is making its first NEC Tournament appearance since 2006.
UP NEXT: The Mount will play tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. in an elimination game against the loser of today's game between Saint Francis U and Sacred Heart.