Softball Edged by #23 Rowan in NCAA Tournament Opener, 3-2

Softball Edged by #23 Rowan in NCAA Tournament Opener, 3-2

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- The New England Collegiate Conference champion Eastern Nazarene College softball team dropped a narrow 3-2 decision to No. 23 nationally-ranked Rowan Friday afternoon in NCAA Tournament action at MIT's Briggs Field.

The Lions fall to 28-14 on the season and move into the losers' bracket to face the loser of the MIT/Husson first-round game Saturday afternoon. The Profs improve to 31-12 overall and advance to face the winner of the MIT/Husson matchup Saturday morning.

Dominique Santos (Lancaster, Calif.) notched one hit and scored two runs. Rebecca Ashman (Havre de Grace, Md.), Kiley Ozaki (Ewa Beach, Hawaii), and Viviana Coix (Warrenville, Ill.) all collected base knocks in the game. Lauren Clements (Garrison, Texas) and Kori Bow (Shaftsbury, Vt.) each picked up an RBI on the day.

Eastern Nazarene struck early with one run in the top of the first inning to grab a 1-0 edge. Bow drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in Santos from third base.

Rowan knotted the contest at 1-1 with a run in the fourth. Sonia Sharma registered an infield single to plate Cassandra Gerard from third.

The Lions reclaimed a one-run advantage with a tally in the fifth. Clements drew a bases-loaded walk as Santos crossed the dish for the second time in the game.

The Profs rallied to score twice in the bottom of the seventh to clinch the walk-off win. Shea Branda and Kristina Mueller both crossed the dish as Carly Anderson and Gerard reached on errors.

Elisabeth Schaffer (Benton, Pa.) tossed 6.2 innings and recorded four strikeouts in her 30th pitching appearance of the spring.

Eastern Nazarene will face off against Husson or MIT in a NCAA Tournament elimination game May 11 at MIT's Briggs Field at 1:30 pm.