PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After falling behind by a run in the third, the Merrimack College softball team drew even with 25th-ranked Adelphi after an RBI triple in the fourth, but the Panthers broke a 2-2 deadlock with three runs in the fifth and added another in the sixth to claim the 2017 Northeast-10 Conference Championship in the final round of the league tournament on Saturday afternoon at Brown University Softball Stadium.
Score: Adelphi 6, Merrimack 2
Records: Merrimack (33-13) | #25 Adelphi (35-13-1)
Location: Brown Softball Stadium | Providence, R.I.
2017 NE10 Softball Championship Schedule
First Round (Tue. May 2)
Game 1 - #4 NE Southern N.H. def. #3 NE Assumption, 10-4
Game 2 - #3 SW Le Moyne def. #4 SW Le Moyne, 6-4
Quarterfinals/Semifinals (Thu. May 4 @ Merrimack College)
Game 3 – #4 NESouthern N.H. def. #2 SW Pace, 5-1
Game 5 – #1 NE Merrimack def. #4 NE Southern N.H., 2-1 (F/9)
Quarterfinals/Semifinals (Thu. May 4 @ UMass Lowell)
Game 4 – #3 SW Le Moyne def. #2 NE Saint Anselm, 13-5
Game 6 – #1 SW Adelphi (3 p.m.) def. #3 SW Le Moyne, 10-9
Championship (Sat. May 6 @ Merrimack College)
Game 7 –#1 SW Adelphi def. #1 NE Merrimack, 6-2
- Following a scoreless first, Merrimack manufactured a run in the bottom of the second with some patience at the plate, using a walk, a fielder's choice, a single and back-to-back hit by pitches to tack on the first run of the game that staked the Warriors an early 1-0 lead.
- But Adelphi would take the lead right back with back-to-back solo home runs from NE10 Player of the Year Brenna Martini and Nicole Camera, as the Panthers edged ahead by one after three frames.
- Senior Tamarra Crowe (North Bend, Wash.) helped the Warriors draw even in the bottom of the fourth, starting the inning with a leadoff single before stealing second. Sophomore Nicole Nanof (Goffstown, N.H.), the hero from Thursdays' NE10 Semifinal, provided more heroics with a bloop triple down the right field line that deflected off the glove of the Adelphi fielder and allowed Crowe to score the tying tally, knotting things up at 2-2 heading to the fifth.
- The game was ultimately decided in the top of the fifth; Adelphi took advantage of back-to-back walks to start the inning before a hit batsmen loaded the bases. A ground out to second brought in what was eventually the game-winning run before a sacrifice fly and an errant throw on that same sequence scored two more, allowing the Panthers to open up a three-run lead (5-2).
- Merrimack had runners at second and third in the bottom of the fifth but Adelphi starter Lindsay Mapes kept the Warriors at bay; the Panthers then added insurance with a solo homer in the top of the sixth to take a 6-2 lead.
- In the bottom of the seventh, the Warriors put runners on first and second with one out, but Mapes induced a foul out and a pop up to clinch their second conference title and deny Merrimack its league-high eighth NE10 crown.
Highlights and Notables
- Senior Samantha Waskowitz (Killingworth, Conn.), sophomore Caitlin McBride (Danvers, Mass.) and Crowe all had multi-hit performances, combining for six of Merrimack's eight hits.
- McBride notched her 15th multi-hit game of the season, while Waskowitz recorded her 14th such accomplishment. Crowe tallied her seventh multi-hit performance.
- Nanof posted her first multi-RBI game of the season and also notched her second triple.
- Crowe recorded her third stolen base of the season to move to 3-for-4 on the base paths this year.
Team Leaders (MC // ADE)
- Hits: Waskowitz/McBride/Crowe (2) // Three players (2)
- Runs: Williamson/Crowe (1) // Martini/Camera (2)
- RBIs: Nanof (2) // Five players (1)
- W: Mapes (15-5), 7.0 IP/CG, 8 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 1 BB
- L: Currie (12-3), 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 K, 2 BB
Team Comparisons (MC // ADE)
- Hits/At-Bats: 8-29 // 10-29
- SO/BB: 3/1 // 5/4
- LOB: 10 // 8
- SB: 1-1 // 0-0
- Errors: 1 // 0
Merrimack will now await word on whether or not the team qualifies for its 14th NCAA Tournament and first trip to the Big Dance since 2011 when the NCAA Selection Show airs online at www.NCAAcom/Live on Monday (May 8) morning at 10 a.m.