LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Naomi Stas struck out nine batters and scored the eventual game-winning run in the ninth inning to give the Philadelphia University softball team a 3-2 nine-inning victory over Felician University in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament to keep the Rams season alive. The Rams dropped to the losers bracket after a 5-0 loss to Holy Family University in the opening game of the day.
The victory over Felician is the Rams' first in the conference tournament since the team defeated Dominican (N.Y.) College 7-0 in Game 10 of the 2009 CACC Tournament. Philadelphia had lost eight straight CACC Tournament games.
Philadelphia (22-27) will face Goldey-Beacom College in an elimination game on Friday, May 5 at 11 a.m. on GCU Softball Field #2.
Felician (22-27) put a runner in scoring position with one away during its turn at the plate in the sixth and seventh innings. Stas got out of both jams by recording a strikeout for the second out and getting a fly ball to get out of danger.
After a drama-free eighth inning, Philadelphia broke through with two runs in the top of the ninth to move ahead 3-1.
Katelyn Stys started the frame by singling to right field and then was pinch-run for by Kayla Henry-Caltabellotta. Shannon Weaver sacrificed Henry-Caltabellotta to second with a bunt back to pitcher Erin Powers. In the next at-bat, Stas lofted a fly ball to shallow right field. Brittney Lazar attempted to make a diving catch, but the ball hit in front of her and rolled to the fence. Henry-Caltabellotta would score the go-ahead run and Stas stopped at third with a triple. Megan Letos stepped up next and hit a fly ball to left-center that would be caught by left fielder Jeannette Roldan. Center fielder Steph Donah accidently ran into Roldan, knocking her to the ground and allowing Stas to trot home from third.
Felician got a run back on a two-out RBI single by Roldan.
Stas finished the game going 3-for-5 at the plate and earned the win as she allowed the two runs on just six hits. Jovanna Alfonsi added two hits in five at-bats. The Rams had 10 hits in the game and improve to 9-1 when they have at least 10 hits.
Roldan and Mia Montoya each had two base hits for Felician. Montoya hit a solo home run to dead center in the bottom of the first. Powers struck out five in a losing effort.
The Rams ended up in the elimination game after getting just three hits off of Tiger pitcher Bailey Walters in game one.
Holy Family (27-19) scored all of its runs in the first two innings. Jennifer Trapp had a bases-loaded infield single with two away in the first inning to get Holy Family on the board. Koreen Orozco increased the gap to five, hitting a second-inning grand slam over the left-field fence.
Levins broke up Walters' no-hit bid with a two-out double in the fourth. Bliss and Weaver doubled in the fifth and sixth, respectively, but were unable to come home.
Walters ended the game with six strikeouts in the complete-game win. Stephanie Pepper had one strikeout in six innings for Philadelphia.