Cambridge, Mass. - The Husson University softball team put on a defensive clinic in a 1-0, 10-inning loss to the #21 MIT Engineers (28-10-1) in Game 2 of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship regional round. The Eagles, now 24-10, will face Eastern Nazarene (28-14) in Game 4 on Saturday, May 11, at 1:30 PM in an elimination game. The winner of Game 4 will play the loser of Game 3, MIT or #17 Rowan (31-12), in another elimination game at 4:00 PM.
North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Pitcher of the Year Jen Jones (13-6) pitched a stellar game, giving up only three hits and one run, while striking out 10 batters and walking four, in 9.2 innings before giving up a home run for the walk-off win for the Engineers. She threw 89 strikes on 137 pitches.
The Eagles played a masterful defensive game, complete with double plays by Bri Brochu, Chloe Gorey, and two from Morgan Coleman at first base. Catcher Kylie Cunningham caught a great game, catching a runner trying to steal second base in the bottom of the third inning.
MIT's pitcher, Ravenne Nassar (17-6) limited the Eagles to only two hits, walked one, and struck out six batters in the win.
The best chance for the Eagles occurred in the eighth inning. Following a Cunningham groundout to first, Kylie Kennedy singled to right field. She was out at second with a fielder's choice play off the bat of Whitney Bess. Bess advanced to second with an Arika Brochu bloop that dropped near the MIT second baseman. Bri Brochu then singled to left, advancing Bess and A. Brochu. Chloe Gorey then popped up to first, ending the inning and leaving the bases loaded.
Into extra innings, Jones face three batters, struck out two, and the third grounded out to short.
The Eagles were three-up, three-down in the top of the ninth. Jones faced three batters in the bottom half of the inning and escaped without a run, despite giving up her only walk of the game, thanks to a double play turned by B. Brochu at second base.
On to the tenth, Bess and B. Brochu both grounded out around a strikeout by A. Brochu. In the home half of the inning, Jones got Madi Pickett to strike out, and then Claire Wichman grounded out to second base. MIT second baseman Phoebe Li provided the extra innings heroics for the Engineers, launching a walk-off home run to deep left field for the 1-0 win.
The teams advancing from each regional will compete in the super regional round May 17 and 18. The finals, hosted by Texas-Tyler, will be held May 23-28 at Suddenlink Field in Tyler, Texas. All rounds will use a double-elimination format.