Cortland, NY (5/13/11) – Piedmont College broke a scoreless deadlock with a pair of two-run hits in the top of the seventh inning to support a three-hit shutout by senior pitcher B.J. Cofer (Woodstock, GA/Sequoyah) en route to a 4-0 victory over Montclair State University in the opening round of the 2011 NCAA Division III Softball Regional Championship hosted by SUNY Cortland.
The fourth-seeded Lions (28-13) from Demorest, GA, making their second straight NCAA tournament appearance and third overall, will take on Moravian College, an 8-5 winner over the College of Staten Island earlier, in the second game of the day at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. The Red Hawks (27-11), seeded third and making their 19th NCAA appearance (third in five years), will face host and top-seeded SUNY Cortland in Saturday’s opening game at 10:00 a.m.
Cofer faced 26 batters, striking out five while walking two in seven innings. She gave up hits, all singles, in the first, third, and sixth innings, with one batter reaching second base (stolen base in the sixth).
After opening the top of the seventh with a pop out to first base, Cofer registered Piedmont’s first hit with a single to centerfield before being replaced by freshman Shanice Wheeler (Kennesaw, GA/Kennesaw Mountain) as a pinch runner. Sophomore third baseman Jamie Dennis (Liliburn, GA/Parkview) and sophomore first baseman Megan Kesler (Cobert, GA/Madison County) followed with back-to-back bunt singles to load the bases, setting up sophomore second baseman Rebecca Renfroe (Tunnel Hill, GA/Northwest Whitfield) with a two-run double to score Dennis and Wheeler.
Sophomore Amy Thompson followed as a pinch hitter, reaching on a bloop single to centerfield and advancing to second base as Montclair State recorded the second out of the inning on a play at the plate. Shortstop Megan McClain (Bishop, GA/Oconee County) followed with a single to left center field, scoring Thompson and Renfroe.
Freshman pitcher Alex Hill (Parsippany, NJ/Parsippany Hills) garnered the loss (17-6) for Montclair State, yielding eight hits and a walk while striking out five batters. Among her six losses on the season, the Red Hawks have scored a grand total of two runs and were shutout four times. The four runs allowed today is also a season-high, matching the most Hill has allowed since a 5-1 loss to Springfield College at the Rebel Spring Games in Florida on March 17. It's only the fourth time this season in 22 starts (27 appearances) that she has given up more than two runs in a game.
Shannon Mozek (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) had two of MSU's three hits.