Scores: University of Saint Joseph (CT), 2; Emmanuel College, 5
Records: Emmanuel College Saints (21-16)
University of Saint Joseph College (CT) Blue Jays (23-15)
Location: West Hartford, Conn. – USJ Softball Field
Date: May 2, 2018
THE LEAD: The Emmanuel College softball team topped host University of Saint Joseph (CT), 5-2, in First Round action of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference softball tournament Wednesday afternoon at the USJ Softball Field. The No. 7 Saints (22-16) advance to the GNAC Quarterfinals for the third time in four years while the No. 6 Blue Jays wrap up their campaign with an overall record of 23-16.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Saints got on the board early, jumping out to a 2-0 lead on a two-run blast to left centerfield by junior first baseman Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) for her fourth home run of the season.
- EC junior ace Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) protected the lead early, striking out the side in the second to keep the lead at 2-0.
- Junior catcher Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) made the Blue Jays pay for an error in the third, driving in an unearned run with an RBI single up to middle to bump the lead to 3-0.
- USJ sophomore pitcher Amaria Sharon (Tolland, Conn.) retired the Saints in order needing only six pitches to retire the side and keep the hosts within striking distance.
- Sharon led off the bottom of the fourth with the first hit of the afternoon for USJ on a grounder up the middle and came around to score on an RBI single to right by junior first baseman Isabella Russo (Southington, Conn.) to cut the score to 3-1.
- EC freshman third baseman Emily Blanchard (Sturbridge, Mass.) led off the fifth with a single and came around to score on a safety squeeze by sophomore centerfielder Sarah Hoisl (West Hartford, Conn.) to move the Saints' lead to 4-1.
- In the bottom of the fifth, USJ junior Kara Klimaszewski (Naugatuck, Conn.) lead off the inning with a single and came around to score on a two-out pinch-hit RBI single by freshman Amanda Thiel (Torrington, Conn.), cutting the lead in half at 4-2.
- The Saints added an insurance run in the seventh as sophomore Yuleska Ramirez Tejeda (South Boston, Mass.) led off the frame with a triple down the right field line and came around to score on an RBI single to right by Sheehan making it 5-2.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Kieselback improves to 9-8 on the year going the distance for the Saints scattering four hits while striking out seven in the win.
- Sharon suffered the loss and ends the year with an overall record of 12-11.
- The home run by Skey was the 18th of her career with the Saints, a program record, and marks the fourth consecutive GNAC playoff game that an Emmanuel player has homered in dating back to the 2016 postseason.
- Sheehan's RBI single in the seventh inning was her seventh postseason RBI in eight games.
- The Saints advance to weekend play in the GNAC tournament and will face No. 3 Simmons College tomorrow afternoon on the Johnson & Wales University campus at 3:00 PM.