Garden City, N.Y. – Fueled by a three-run double from graduate student Milan Botte (San Diego, Calif.), the softball team claimed a 4-3 victory in the opening game of the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament. The Lions, now 36-16 on the season, are one win away from earning a spot in the College World Series next Thursday (May 25).
The third inning got started as junior Alexandra Russo (Coram, N.Y.) reached first on an error by the Adelphi second baseman. A single from sophomore left fielder Kaitlyn Snyder (Smithtown, N.Y.) and a walk to senior second baseman Erin Clinton (Long Beach, Calif.) loaded the bases for Botte. Similar to the last regional meeting between the teams, Botte came up big, clearing the bases with a double to left field to give the Lions a 3-0 lead.
The Panthers put runners on second and third in the bottom of the fifth inning for Northeast 10 Player of the Year Brenna Martini (Fairfield, Conn.). Senior Chelsea Hawks (Wading River, N.Y.) forced Martini to pop up to shortstop Brianna Dalton (Northampton, Pa.) to end the inning and keep any runs from scoring.
Botte led off the sixth inning with a ground-rule double before junior right fielder Tiana DeOliveira (Mastic, N.Y.) placed a single to left center to score Botte and give Molloy a 4-0 lead. In the home half of the inning, a double from Megan Lewis (Corning, N.Y.) set up an RBI single from Stephanie Staiano (East Meadow, N.Y.) to put Adelphi on the board.
Adelphi threatened in the bottom of the seventh, as Martini crushed a two out, two-run home run to center field to cut the Lions' lead to just 4-3, but Hawks forced Nicole Camera (Metuchen, N.J.) to fly out to right field to end the contest, giving Molloy the 1-0 lead in the series.
Hawks pitched a complete seven innings, improving to 19-10 on the season. Botte led with three RBI, going 2-of-3 at the plate with two doubles.
Molloy will face the Panthers for the second game of the series tomorrow (May 19) at 1:00 p.m. at Janet L. Ficke Field. If necessary, the tie-breaking game will immediately follow at 3:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to the College World Series.
Provided by the Molloy Sports Information Department.