Cortland, NY (5/14/11) – Junior pitcher Lyndsay Rowell (Sandy Creek) recorded her second tournament victory, yet had to fend off a late rally in the final inning as host and top seeded SUNY Cortland held off third seeded Montclair State University, 4-3, in the opening game of day two in the 2011 NCAA Division III Softball Regional at Dragon Field.
The Red Dragons (38-3-1) will play in the day’s final game at 4:00 p.m., taking on the winner of second-seeded Moravian College (PA) and fourth seeded Piedmont College (GA). The Red Hawks, making their 19th overall NCAA tournament appearance and third in five years, ends the season at 27-12.
Rowell (22-2) tossed a complete-game four hitter, striking out six batters while giving up three runs (two earned) and three walks in facing 29 batters. In two tournament appearances, she has a 1.27 earned run average with nine strikeouts.
Cortland junior first baseman Abby Martin (Oswego) was the lone player for either team to tally multiple hits, going 3-for-4 with an NCAA Division III single-game tournament-tying three doubles (shared by numerous individuals). Sophomore third baseman Lucia Meola (Liverpool/Cicero-North Syracuse) accounted for two of the Red Dragons’ runs, finishing 1-for-2
Cortland jumped out to a 2-0 advantage as junior shortstop Jessica Harman (Penfield) hit a two-out single to right field in the top of the opening inning and Martin added a run scoring double in the top of the third.
Montclair State pulled to within a run in the bottom of the third as senior centerfielder Leslie Gonzalez (West New York, NJ/North Bergen) drove in junior shortstop Priscilla Camacho (Jersey City, NJ/County Prep) from third base on a ground out, but the Red Dragons added two unearned runs in the top of the fifth as senior second baseman Donnalyn Cross (Binghamton/Chenango Valley) scored on a bases loaded force out attempt at home plate after an infield throwing error and Meola followed with the second run on the same play.
The Red Hawks began their final inning rally on a leadoff single from freshman first baseman Alisha Cumberton (Toms River, NJ/Toms River East). After sophomore catcher Heather Bergman (Berkley Heights, NJ/Gov. Livingston) and freshman second baseman Katie Muglia (South Plainfield, NJ) drew back-to-back walks. Rowell struck out Camacho before giving up a two-run single to Montclair State pitcher Alex Hill (Parsippany, NJ/Parsippany Hills), scoring Bergman and Cumberton.
Gonzalez reached on a fielder’s choice to put the tying and game-winning runs on base before the Red Dragons retired the side on ground outs to end the rally. Hill picked up the loss (17-7) for Montclair State, yielding eight hits and an earned run while striking out five batters.