Monks' Title Hopes Deterred by Emerson

NEWTON, MA - Top-seeded Emerson College (32-7, 22-3 GNAC) was crowned as the 2009 GNAC Softball Champions after edging #2 seed Saint Joseph's (28-12, 18-6), 2-1, on Sunday afternoon in the conference title game at Mount Ida College. Lady Monks starting pitcher Kiera Walsh (So., Benton, Maine) surrendered five hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts in the loss.

Bridget Farago (Jr., Oneonta, N.Y.) delivered a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Jilisa Rawding (So., Tewksbury, Mass.) and give Emerson College a come from behind 2-1 victory over St. Joe's. The win gives the Lions their second GNAC Championship in the past three seasons and qualifies Emerson for the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament that begins May 9 at a site to be determined.

Farago's single followed a single to centerfield by Rawding. Catie McDonough (Sr., North Adams, Mass.) dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Rawding to second. Rawding took third on a passed ball and easily scored as Farago's hit was lined down the left field line.

Saint Joseph's scored first in the tight pitchers' duel between Walsh and Emerson's Kelsey Tuthill (FY, Middletown, Conn.). In the top of the fourth inning the Lady Monks' Anna Willis (Jr., Gorham, Maine) had a one out single and advanced to second on a Emily Leverone (FY, Hampton, N.H.) single. Liddy van der Linden (Jr., Worcester, Mass.) then walked to load the bases. Alyssa Dunn (So., Standish, Maine) singled to center to plate Willis. A fielder's choice that forced Leverone at the plate and a strikeout halted the inning.

Emerson got the run back in the bottom of the sixth inning as Lynn Herman (So., Boca Raton, Fla.) singled through the right side and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Sierra Wood (So., Torrance, Calif.) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Herman to third. Brittany Martin (So., Las Vegas, Nev.) followed with a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Herman.

Emerson survived a scare in the Saint Joseph's seventh when with one out Jillian Kimball (Jr., Albany Township, Maine) reached on an error by Tuthill and advanced to second on the throw. Pinch hitter Maria Labbe (FY, Lewiston, Maine) lined a hard shot to left field on which Emerson's Megan Kaye (Sr., Miami, Fla.) made a running catch and perfect throw to double Kimball off at second and end the threat.

Tuthill was named the Tournament's most valuable player giving up only four runs in 21 innings pitched.

Dunn, Willis and Christy Wezowicz '10 (Granville, MA) were named to the All-Tournament Team.