Brookville, N.Y. - The softball team picked up two thrilling victories in the second day of competition at the East Coast Conference Championship on the back of two walk-off grand slams in extra innings. With the victories, Molloy (29-24) advances to the title game against top-seeded LIU Post tomorrow (May 5) at 12:00 p.m. In order to take home its fifth title in eight years, the Lions will need to defeat the Pioneers in back-to-back contests.
Game One: #3 Molloy 6, #4 University of Bridgeport 2
The maroon and white struck first, taking a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Senior Brianna Dalton singled followed by a walk to freshman Courtney Greene to set the table for a two-run double from senior Alexandra Russo to put the Lions in front.
The Purple Knights plated a run in the sixth and seventh innings on a solo home run and sacrifice fly, forcing extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Molloy loaded the bases on three straight singles from juniors Tara Byrnes and Kaitlyn Snyder and senior Olivia Banulski. Dalton sent the ball over the left center field fence for a game-winning grand slam to help the Lions advance to its second elimination game of the day.
Junior Jenna Turato tossed a complete game, allowing only two runs on seven hits in nine innings of work. The pitched struck out six batters in the effort for her 17th victory of the season.
Game Two: #3 Molloy 8, #2 Mercy 5
Once again, the maroon and white jumped out to an early lead in a rematch of the tournament's opening game. Snyder and Banulski singled to start the bottom of the first inning before Dalton hit her second home run in as many at bats, this time putting the ball over the left field wall to give Molloy a 3-0 lead.
After three scoreless innings, the Mavericks tied the contest in the fifth inning on an RBI single and a two-run error by the Molloy defense. The score would remain knotted through the bottom of the seventh inning, forcing extras for the second straight game.
Mercy scored twice in the top of the eighth to take a 5-3 lead. Walks to Byrnes and senior Bernadette Mullane set Snyder up for an RBI double to bring Molloy within one in the bottom half of the inning. The Mavericks walked Dalton to bring up Greene, who ended the game with a walk-off grand slam of her own over the right field fence, giving Molloy the 8-5 victory.
Turato allowed two hits in three innings of work in the start; freshman Tonianne Larson recorded her eighth win of the season, allowing five runs on 11 hits while fanning two batters.
Provided by the Molloy Sports Information Department.