#1 Wheaton Blanks #4 Western New England, Advances To ECAC Tournament Finals

#1 Wheaton Blanks #4 Western New England, Advances To ECAC Tournament Finals

Berardi knocks in game-winning run 

KEENE, N.H. – Wheaton College sophomore Noelle Christmas (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) pitched a complete game shutout to lead the first-seeded Lyons over fourth-seeded Western New England University, 2-0, in the semifinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Softball Tournament on Saturday afternoon on the campus of Keene State College. 

Wheaton (27-16) will play seventh-seeded Worcester State University (25-17) on Sunday, May 12 at 11 a.m. for the ECAC Tournament title. Inclement weather has postponed the remaining semifinal round games that were scheduled today changing the tournament's double elimination format to a single elimination format tomorrow. Western New England's season comes to a close at 27-19. 

Christmas scattered three hits, issued two walks and fanned four batters to push her record to 8-6 overall on the season. Christmas has now pitched four complete games and hurled two shutouts in 22 appearances in the circle for the Lyons. 

Golden Bears' sophomore Lauren Zambrano (Wallingford, Conn./Lyman Hall) was dealt the loss on five-and-one-thirds innings pitched, nine hits, two runs (both earned) and four strikeouts. 

Wheaton struck for two runs in the fourth inning as sophomore Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) ripped an RBI double to right-center field and senior Megan Roy (North Dighton, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) belted a run-producing single off the top of the outfield fence. Freshman Marissa Timoteo (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter) got the Lyons offense going in the frame with a leadoff single up the middle. 

In the fifth, Roy snared a liner at first base to end a Western New England threat with runners on first and second with one out on an unassisted double play. Christmas allowed one baserunner over the next two innings to close out the contest. 

Freshmen Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) and Erin Deneen (Framingham, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) both went 2-for-3 while Timoteo and Berardi were 2-for-3 with one run scored. 

Western New England sophomore Grace Kucharski (Avon, Conn./Avon) had a single to right field and a stolen base in the sixth.