Geneva Defeats W&J 6-3 In PAC Softball Tournament; Cunningham Sets Single-Season Hit Record
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Defending conference champion Geneva scored four times in the first inning and never looked back during a 6-3 win over Washington & Jefferson Thursday in the opening round of the 2013 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Softball Tournament.
The second-seeded Golden Tornadoes (21-16) advance to the winner’s bracket game against fourth-seeded Thomas More at 3:00 pm. Third-seeded W&J (24-15) meets top-seeded and host Westminster at 5:00 pm in an elimination game.
Geneva scored four runs in the first inning with the key hit, a two-run double, coming from Laura Beck.
The Presidents, who made their first PAC Tournament appearance since 2009, rallied in the top of the third inning with five-straight singles to cut the lead in half. Senior second baseman Stephanie Zur (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) and freshman pitcher Emily Watson (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) both produced RBI singles. After the Presidents scored the runs, Geneva pitcher Samantha Johnson worked her way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam to preserve the lead.
Beck smashed a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to get the runs back, but Watson held the Golden Tornadoes off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Watson pitched 3 2/3 innings without allowing a hit in relief of freshman Krista McCartney (Salem, Ohio/United Local).
The Presidents strung together a final rally in the seventh as senior center fielder D.J. Ufolla (Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry) and junior shortstop Kelsey Cunningham (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township) both singled. Ufolla made it a three-run deficit after scoring on a throwing error, but Johnson once again eluded further trouble by getting a groundout on the final batter of the game.
With her seventh-inning single, Cunningham established a new W&J single-season record with her 60th hit of the year. Amanda Howard ’08 held the previous mark with 59 hits. She is batting .462 (60-for-130) on the season heading into tonight’s game with the Titans. Watson also had two hits for the Presidents.
Zur’s base hit was the 144th of her career which moved her past Stacey Bugle ’07 for fourth place on the school’s all-time list. Ufolla made her 141st appearance in a W&J uniform, the third-highest number in school history.
Johnson scattered eight singles in the circle to earn her 15th win of the season. She allowed two earned runs and struck out four.