Score: Emmanuel College, 2; Simmons University, 3 (9 innings)
Emmanuel College Saints,
Simmons University Sharks,
Location: Brighton, Mass. – Daly Field
Date: Saturday, May 4, 2019
The Lead – Sophomore Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) delivered an RBI single to right field in the ninth inning to give Simmons University a 3-2 walk-off win over Emmanuel College in the 2019 GNAC Softball Tournament loser's bracket final. The Sharks advance to the GNAC Championship series against University of Saint Joseph (CT) while the Saints season comes to an end with an overall record of 25-14.
How it Happened
- The Sharks struck first with a run in the second to go ahead 1-0. Sophomore Marissa Santoro (Franklin, Mass.) led off the frame with a four-pitch walk and came around to score on an RBI double to right centerfield by freshman Alex Morang (Windham, Maine).
- Emmanuel evened the score at 1-1 in the fourth as senior Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) led off the inning with a single to right. Senior Briana Ong (Coventry, R.I.) came on to run and moved over to second on well executed sacrifice bunt by freshman Grace Orcutt (Lexington, Mass.). Ong came around to score on an RBI single to center by senior catcher Casey Sheehan to tie the game.
- Later in fourth, the Saints threatened to take the lead with runners on the corners with just one out but Simmons freshman Maddie Castigliego (Bristol, R.I.) induced a pop out for the second out of the frame before the EC runner at third was picked off by first year catcher Shannon McMahon (El Cajon, Calif.) to extinguish the threat.
- Simmons regained the lead in the fifth as sophomore outfielder Ivy Vann (Bend, Ore.) connected on an RBI double to left center to give the Sharks a 2-1 cushion.
- The Sharks threatened in the sixth as senior Dom Ortiz (Lawrence, Mass.) led off with a single and her pinch runner, sophomore Emily Barbella (Littleton, Mass.), moved over to second on a passed ball. EC senior hurler Megan Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) was able to induce a fly out to right and junior right fielder Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (Cambridge, Mass.) doubled up the Sharks with a laser throw to third to catch Barbella trying to tag on the play to cede the threat.
- In the seventh, Emmanuel battled to extend the game by tying the score at 2-2. Yuleska Ramirez-Tejeda (Cambridge, Mass.) reached with the help of an errant Simmons throw to start the inning and moved over to third on an aggressive base running play following a sac bunt by senior shortstop Audrey Esakoff (Ventura, Calif.). The Saints were down to their final out when senior left fielder Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) delivered with a looping single just out of the reach of the Simmons second baseman down the right field line to drive home Ramirez-Tejeda and even the score at 2-2.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Castigliego picked up the win going the distance for the Sharks in a gutsy effort, scattering 11 hits and allowing just the two runs (one earned) while striking out five.
- Kieselback suffered the loss to end her year with a 12-7 overall record in the circle.
- EC seniors Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.), Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) and Burgos along with junior centerfielder Sarah Hoisl (West Hartford, Conn.) all collected two hits on the afternoon.
- Morang was the line Shark to collect multiple hits in the win.
- The 25 wins for Emmanuel was one shy of the program record of 26 from the 2016 season.
- The Sharks advance to the GNAC Championship series for the first time since the 2014 season and will face University of Saint Joseph (CT) in the championship series later today. The Blue Jays need to win one of two to capture the championship while the Sharks need to sweep the series to move on to the NCAA tournament field.