Brooklyn, N.Y. (May 10, 2019)—The Mount St. Mary's softball team won its first Northeast Conference Tournament game since 1995 to stay alive, but fell to regular season champion and host LIU Brooklyn in the team's second elimination game of the day to see the 2019 season come to an end.
The Mountaineers edged Sacred Heart, 4-3, in the first game of the day behind a gutty pitching effort by Amanda Berkley. The Mount jumped out to an early lead in game two, but saw LIU Brooklyn take control with a five-run fourth inning for a 9-1 win in game two.
The Mount finishes the 2019 season with a 26-28 record, the second-most wins in program history.
GAME 1: Mount St. Mary's 4, Sacred Heart 3
The Mount edged Sacred Heart, 4-3, for its first Northeast Conference Tournament win since 1995 in an elimination game. Berkley scattered 11 hits in a complete-game victory for her 15th win of the season, matching the Mount's single-season record.
The Mount grabbed the early lead with a run in the top of the first inning. Mariah Godde laced a double to right center field with one out to start the rally. Morgan Alisauckas then belted a 3-2 pitch down the left field line for a two-base hit to bring home Godde with the first run of the game.
The Pioneers evened the score in the bottom of the first. Stephanie Mangiamelli singled up the middle with one out, and moved to second on a passed ball. Amy Petrovich blooped a single to right to put runner on the corners. The Mount got the second out on a soft liner to second base. Sacred Heart was able to get the tying run with their feet. Petrovich attempted to steal, and the Mount threw the ball through to second base. Mount shortstop Godde chased the runner back to first, but was unable to get the out, allowing Mangiameli to scamper home with the tying run.
It didn't take long for the Mount to regain the lead as Kaia Bonshock led off the top of the second with a solo home run to right center field for her third home run of the season. Jessica Nines walked, and Emilee Kirk singled to center to put runners on first and second. After a strikeout, Stoner singled up the middle to plate Nines to push the Mount lead to 3-1. The Mount loaded the bases when Alisauckas walked, but Sacred Heart starter Kristen McCann got Heinze to ground out to third to end the inning.
The Mount added to the lead with a run in the top of the third inning. Shelbee Holcomb and Bonshock opened the inning with back-to-back base hits, and Nines reached on an error by the third baseman to load the bases. Kirk grounded out to first, but was called for interference when the throw home hit Kirk, who was in fair territory while running to the bag. Kate Wade followed with a bloop single to right to score Holcomb to give the Mount a 4-1 lead. McCann was able to escape the inning without further damage when Stoner grounded into a fielder's choice with SHU getting the force out at home, and Godde lining out to the first baseman.
In the bottom of the third, Mangiameli was hit by a pitch, and Petrovich doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. Heinze took over from there, snagging a pair of line drive outs to end the inning.
Sacred Heart's Alyssa Gonzalez led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to left to cut the Mount's lead to 4-2. Sacred Heart had a chance to cut into the lead when Kylee Harvey and Hailey Desrosiers singled with two outs to put two runners on base, but Berkley was able to snag a comebacker to the mound and get the out at first to end the inning.
The Mount had a chance to add to the lead when Stoner led off the top of the sixth with a double to left center field, but Sacred Heart pitcher Emily Orosco was able to retire the next three batters to keep it a two-run game.
The Pioneers made things interesting in the bottom of the seventh, putting together a two-out rally with the winning run on second base. After Berkley retired the first two batters, Petrovich and Bevino each singled to put runners on first and second. Katelyn Christian followed with a single to left to plate Petrovich to make it 4-3, with the base runners moving into scoring position on an error on the throw to third. Berkley, however, got the final out when Gonzalez lofted a soft liner to shortstop to end the game.
Stoner and Bonshock each went 2-for-4 at the plate for the Mountaineers in the win. Petrovich went 3-for-4 at the plate to pace Sacred Heart. Berkley allowed three runs (two earned) in the complete-game win to move to 15-14 on the season. Kristen McCann took the loss, allowing four runs in four innings of work while Emily Orosco struck out six in three innings of relief.
GAME 2: LIU Brooklyn 9, Mount St. Mary's 1 (5 innings)
LIU Brooklyn scored five times in the top of the fourth inning to break open the game en route to an 9-1 win over the Mount to advance to the NEC Championship game. Alisauckas provided the Mount offense with a solo home run in the bottom of the first that gave the Mountaineers the lead.
Alisauckas drilled a ball over the left field fence to put the Mount ahead, 1-0. It is her ninth home run of the year. The Blackbirds took the lead in the top of the third inning. Katie Hinkle singled to open the inning, and Patricia Griffin reached on an error on a bunt to put runners on first and second. After a ground out to second moved the runners up, Schae Dickson laced a triple to the right field fence to plate both runners for a 2-1 LIU lead. Olson was able to avoid further damage with a fly out and a soft liner to third to end the frame.
LIU added to the lead when Samantha Garcia belted a solo home run to left to make it 3-1. LIU continued the rally to break open the game when Victoria Lowe, Hinkle and Griffin each singled to load the bases with one out, and Camryn Lyman connected for a grand slam home run to right field.
In the top of the fifth, Kiana Cisneros walked, moved to second when she tagged up on Maggie Kane's diving catch in foul territory. Garcia then singled to center to score Cisneros to make it 8-1. Pinch-runner Kristen Blanchard stole second base, and Hinkle singled, moving to second on the throw, to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Griffin walked on a wild pitch, allowing Blanchard to score to make it 9-1.
Garcia and Hinkle each went 3-for-3 at the plate while Lyman was 2-for-4 with four RBI for the Blackbirds. Starting pitcher Elena Valenzuela tossed a three-hit complete game.