Presidents Stay Alive In PAC Softball Tournament With Late Rally
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Third-seeded Washington & Jefferson scored three times in the sixth inning and held off top-seeded Westminster 5-4 Thursday to advance to the second day of 2013 Presidents’ Athletic Conference Softball Tournament.
The Presidents (25-16) will meet the second-seeded Geneva Golden Tornadoes (21-17) for the fourth time this season in an elimination game Friday at 1:00 pm at Westminster.
Geneva lost to Thomas More 8-0 Thursday after opening with a 6-3 win over W&J. The winner of the W&J-Geneva game will have to defeat the fourth-seeded Saints twice to earn the PAC title and automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Washington & Jefferson earned its first PAC Tournament win in exactly five years (May 2, 2008). The last victory came when W&J defeated Waynesburg 1-0 at Brooks Park.
Junior shortstop Kelsey Cunningham (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township) gave W&J a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-run double that scored senior center fielder D.J. Ufolla (Pittsburgh, Pa./Perry) and sophomore left fielder Breanna Gleason (Baden, Pa./Ambridge).
The Titans (23-15), who swept W&J during the regular season, plated three runs in the bottom of the second and one more in the fourth for a 4-2 advantage.
W&J took advantage of two Westminster errors to take the lead. Gleason started the inning with a base hit and scored on a throwing error. Freshman pitcher Emily Watson (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) tied the game by scoring Cunningham on a sacrifice fly, while senior second baseman Stephanie Zur (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) scored the eventual game-winning run after a Westminster fielding error.
Westminster had two runners reach base in the sixth, but Watson eluded any more trouble before setting down the Titans in order in the seventh. Watson allowed two earned runs on nine hits, while striking out two in the complete game.
Cunningham had two hits and two runs batted in, while Gleason provided two hits and scored twice. Seven different Presidents recorded at least one hit.
Washington & Jefferson will need three-straight victories on Friday to earn its third PAC title in history and first since 2006.