WENHAM, MA - #2 Saint Joseph's (32-7, 23-3 GNAC) cruised past top-seeded Emerson College (31-8, 24-2 GNAC), 6-1, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament semifinal contest at Gordon College on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore pitcher Rae-Marie Copan (Newton, Mass.) was outstanding in the circle for the Monks and improved to 8-3 on the year with the convincing victory. A finesse pitcher, Copan baffled the potent Lions' lineup for seven strong innings, allowing just one run off five hits in the complete-game effort.
Sophomore left fielder Theresa Hendrix (Scarborough, Maine/Cheverus) ignited the SJC offense by going 3-3 with two runs, a double, a home run, and two RBI and senior Emily Leverone (Hampton, N.H.) was 1-3 with two runs scored and her solo jack in the bottom of the first set the tone for the Royal Blue in what was the Monks' first GNAC Tournament victory over Emerson since the 2008 playoffs.
With the victory Saint Joseph's will face Emerson or Johnson & Wales University – two teams which play in an elimination contest on Sunday morning – at 1:00 PM on Sunday afternoon at Gordon College.
With the game tied at one-apiece, St. Joe's exploded for four runs off five hits and an Emerson miscue in the bottom of the fourth to seize control of the contest. Leverone led off the inning with a walk and Heather Tripp (Lovell, Maine) and Lindsay Moore (Barrington, N.H.) followed with consecutive bunt singles to load the bases for Hendrix, who delivered an RBI single to center. Up next was senior catcher Maria Labbe (Lewiston, Maine), who reached on a fielder's choice but scampered all the way to third when Colleen Casey airmailed a throw to second base, allowing both Hendrix and Moore to score and lifting the Royal Blue to a 5-1 cushion.
Looking to tack on an insurance run, the Monks accomplished just that when Hendrix led off the bottom of the six by launching her fifth home run of the year of the center field fence.
Saint Joseph's College, founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy, celebrates its Centennial year in 2012 with a theme of "Realize the Promise" – honoring our commitment to educating well-rounded graduates who combine career focus with classic liberal arts studies. A Private, Catholic, primarily residential, coeducational liberal arts institution, Saint Joseph's welcomes students of all ages and all faiths. The campus, located 18 miles northwest of Portland and just two hours from Boston, encompasses 350 acres along the shore of beautiful Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine. Enrollment ranges between 1,000 and 1,100 students annually. Saint Joseph's offers challenging academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences, education, nursing and business fields in a value-centered environment.