Softball Advances to GNAC Championship on Sunday

Softball Advances to GNAC Championship on Sunday

The Suffolk University Softball team won a pair of games on Saturday afternoon to advance to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament Championship on Sunday afternoon. First year Head Coach Jaclyn Davis and the Rams will square off with the St. Joseph's College Monks at noon on Sunday in Suffolk's first finals appearance since the 2006 season.

The fourth-seeded Monks defeated Suffolk on Friday afternoon, 3-0 as senior Kayla Vannah (Waldoboro, Me.) fired a complete game three-hitter.

Suffolk opened the eight-team tournament on Wednesday behind a masterful one-hitter by sophomore Sarah Chasse (Salem, Mass.) to defeat the number one seed Norwich University 4-1.

After a slow Friday afternoon offensively, Suffolk opened up in their first game of the day with an 11-4 victory over Rivier University in the first elimination game of the day.

Suffolk combined for seven extra base hits and they put out 18 hits in total for their of two victories on the day.

Junior Erin McAndrews (Marblehead, Mass.) connected on a three run homer in the top of the second as part of a six run inning to get the Rams off to a quick start. Sophomore Nicole Rosa (Wallingford, Conn.) also added an RBI with a double following a two-run double by freshman Paige Stanley (Fair Haven, N.J.).

Rosa added her second RBI double of the day in the fifth, while freshman Julia Ludvigsen (Dedham, Mass.) al singled home a run with a base hit to centerfield. Chasse helped her own cause earlier in the inning with a sacrifice fly as she picked up the win on the mound to move to 9-9 on the year. Chasse pitched the first five innings striking out six while allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits. Sophomore Alicia Gonnella (Bridgewater, N.J.) struck out a pair in relief over the final two innings to preserve the Suffolk win.

Eight of nine Suffolk players recorded multiple hits on the day. Rosa and freshman Meredith Ball (Nahant, Mass.) had a pair of doubles.

In the late game, Suffolk eliminate the host University of Saint Joseph with a 5-3 victory as Chasse and Gonnella once again combined on the mound for the win.

Chasse's victory moves her season record to 10-9 as she struck out six in six innings of work, while Gonnella picked up her second save of the season recording the final three outs of the contest.

Ball had a double and a triple for the Rams who collected 10 hits in the nightcap.

Suffolk scored three runs in the second as Ball laced a triple down the rightfield line plating Ludvigsen who led the inning off with an infield single. Ball would come around to score on a squeeze bunt by junior Nikki Cignarella (Norwood, Mass.) before freshman Brook Brandt (St. Paul, Minn.) would knock in Cignarella as she doubled to left for the 3-0 lead.

McAndrews would increase her GNAC leading RBI total to 42 in the fifth as she connected on her 14th double of the year. She would come around later to score in the inning on a Blue Jays' error.

The Rams will need to defeat the Monks twice tomorrow as they look to work their way back from the losers bracket to claim the conference championship. Sunday's winner will recieve an automatic qualifier bid into this year's NCAA Division-III Softball tournament.