Brookville, N.Y. – The LIU Post softball team extended its win-streak to 11 games on Wednesday, May 1 as it took down No. 4 seed New York Institute of Technology by a 3-2 final in game one of the East Coast Conference championship at the LIU Post Softball Complex.
With the win, LIU Post advances into the winners' bracket and will face No. 3 seed University of Bridgeport on Friday, May 3 at 10:00 a.m. for a chance to earn a berth into the championship series for the second-consecutive season.
Senior Leah Mele was the lone Pioneer to record a multi-hit day as LIU Post got out to a hot start before faltering offensively as the game progressed. Mele crossed the plate for one of the three Pioneer runs, while sophomores Hanna Finkelstein and Breanna Klaiber tallied one hit and one run batted in.
Junior Katie Humhej was rock solid inside the circle, allowing just two runs while striking out seven Bears on the day to improve to 24-4. The right-hander stranded nine runners on base, including four runners in scoring position.
After a quiet top of the first inning, junior Allie Laird led off the bottom of the frame with a single to center field. After advancing to third on a groundout and a fly out, Finkelstein lined a ball up the middle of the diamond that deflected off the top of the glove of NYIT second baseman Stephanie Neglia, bringing in Laird for the game's first run. One batter later, Klaiber drove one into the alley in right-center field, scoring Finkelstein from first base to give LIU Post a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
The hot start continued during the bottom of the second as Mele and fellow senior Ashley Melendez recorded back-to-back one-out singles. Sophomore Patricia Dun roped a double to right-center field to drive in another run, giving the Green and Gold a 3-0 advantage. The Bears worked out of the jam, however, and held LIU Post to just one run during the inning.
NYIT threatened during the top of the fourth inning, putting runners on the corners with two outs before Humhej made a nice play on a ground ball back up the box to record the 1-3 putout to end the inning. The Bears did find a way to get on the board their next at-bat though, as Mikea Lewis singled to right field to score two runs. Humhej worked out of the jam and needed to showcase her escape skills once again during the sixth when she stranded two runners on base to keep the one-run lead secure. Despite allowing two hits during the top of the seventh, Humhej stranded both runners on base again to lift LIU Post into Friday's winners' bracket contest.
The Pioneers will host the Purple Knights at 10:00 a.m. at the LIU Post Softball Complex. Admission will be charged for all fans in attendance for the ECC Championship. Tickets for adults will be $6 and students with valid ID, senior citizens, and children ages 5-12 will be admitted for $3. Children under the age of five will not be charged admission. Tournament passes are also available at a rate of $15 for adults and $6 for students, senior citizens and children. Fans that cannot make it to the LIU Softball can follow along with live video available on the ECC Network online, on mobile devices, and other streaming devices through the ECC Network app free of charge.
Provided by the LIU Post Sports Information Department.