Softball Pushes Past Purchase in ECAC Tournament

Little Falls, NJ (5/7/09) –  Junior designated player Leigh Ann Murduca (Jersey City, NJ / St. Dominic Academy) collected a pair of doubles and drove in four runs as second-seeded Montclair State knocked off No. 7 seed Purchase College, 6-3 in the opening round of the 2009 Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Metro Tournament at the MSU Softball Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

The Red Hawks (26-16) now advance into the double-elimination portion of the tournament which will take place at Kean University’s Cougar Field in Union, NJ on Saturday, May 9. Montclair will face third-seeded Richard Stockton in the second game of the day beginning at 12:00 pm. Top-seeded Kean takes on No. 4 seed Rutgers-Camden in the all-NJAC tournament, which concludes on Sunday, May 10.  MSU has won seven ECAC titles and is making its eighth overall appearance.

Senior first baseman Patricia Orellana (New York, NY / HS for Economics and Finance) drove in three runs for Purchase, which closed out its season at 17-14.

MSU scored the first six runs of the contest, the first two coming in the second inning. Amanda Livsey (Congers, NY / Clarkstown North) singled and came all the way around to score as senior Kelly Karp (Edison, NJ / Edison) helped her own cause with an RBI triple. After a ground out, Murduca knocked home Karp with another ground-ball out as Montclair took a two-run advantage.

The Red Hawks extended the lead to 5-0 in the fourth scoring three times. Livsey doubled with one out and Karp drew a walk. Megan Durkin (West Orange, NJ / West Orange) also drew a walk to load the bases and Murduca brought them all home as she doubled to left-centerfield. MSU got its final run in the fifth as Kelly Nance (Marlboro, NJ / Marlboro) lofted a single to left that scored Shannon Mozek (Wayne, NJ / Wayne), who had reached on a one-out double.

After being held to just three hits through the first three innings, Purchase mounted a comeback in the top of the sixth. Lindsay Froman (Medina, NY / Medina) singled with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. A fielder’s choice created a force out at third, but Emily Stanley (Holmes, NY / Carmel) walked to load the bases. Orellana then drove a ball off the top of the wall in right field clearing the bases as the Panthers closed within 6-3.

But Karp got a ground out to end the inning and turned the ball over to junior Elia Persico (Marlton, NJ / Cherokee), who allowed a hit in the seventh before recording her fourth save of the season. Karp improved to 12-9 as she allowed the three runs and six hit, walking one and fanning three. Froman (6-8) took the loss. She walked two and struck out one giving up eight hits.

Livsey had two hits for MSU while Jullian Lucas (River Edge, NJ / River Edge) was 2-for-3 with a run scored for Purchase.