NCAA TOURNAMENT: Farmingdale State Stops Wheaton's Run, 8-5

NCAA TOURNAMENT: Farmingdale State Stops Wheaton's Run, 8-5

Lyons end 2014 campaign with 30-12 record, their tenth 30-win season in program history

MONTCLAIR, N.J.  – The Wheaton College softball team's 2014 NCAA Division III Tournament run came to a close on Saturday afternoon at Montclair State University (MSU) as the Lyons fell to Farmingdale State College, 8-5, at the MSU Softball Stadium. 

The Rams (24-13) will play Haverford (28-10) later today at a time to be determined later. The winner between Farmingdale State/Haverford will then play host Montclair State (38-6) on Sunday at 12 p.m. needing two wins against the Fords to advance to the new Super Regional format, a best-of-3 series, set for May 16-17. Super Regional winners then advance to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship in Tyler, Texas on May 22-27. Wheaton's season wraps up at 30-12 overall. 

Farmingdale State's Taylor Webb (West Babylon, N.Y./West Babylon) pushed her record to 13-5 with the win going seven innings alongside six hits, five runs (four earned), three walks and two punchouts. 

Lyons' junior starter Emily Berardi (Boston, Mass./Boston Latin) took the loss (7-4) on 3 1/3 innings pitched, eight hits, five runs (all earned), one walk and a strikeout. 

In the top of the second inning, Wheaton took a 2-0 lead as senior Ashley Vertente (Fairhaven, Mass./Fairhaven) roped an opposite field, RBI double into the right-center gap and sophomore Erin Deneen (Framingham, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) lifted a hard-hit sacrifice fly to left field. 

Senior Jenna Rocha (Rehoboth, Mass./Dighton-Rehoboth) got the offense started with a nine-pitch leadoff walk, her 96th career free pass, and eventually advanced to second on a single by sophomore catcher Kelly Welch (Wood Dale, Ill./Fenton). Vertente followed with her tenth RBI of the season taking a 1-2 pitch the other way into right-center to plate Rocha and Deneen lined a 1-1 offering for a sacrifice fly to left field bringing home Welch to account for the scoring. 

Farmingdale State cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the frame on a RBI single up the middle from freshman Victoria D'Alessandro (Massapequa, N.Y./Holy Trinity). The Rams nearly pushed across another run in the previous at-bat but freshman Lori Michalowski (Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) was gunned down at home on a perfect throw from Wheaton right fielder Madeline Hatch (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) to keep the game at 2-0 at the time. 

Hatch, who picked up her third assist of the season, corralled a single down the right field line off the bat of freshman Allison Dailey (Commack, N.Y./Commack) before making the throw to Welch at home. Michalowski reached base on a one-out double just in front of the wall in center field prior to being thrown out at the plate. 

In the fourth inning, the Lyons increased their advantage to 4-1 with both runs in the frame coming with two outs. Sophomore Emma Hart (Lincoln, R.I./Lincoln) initiated the two-out rally for Wheaton by ripping her second triple of the season into right-center field. Hart eventually came around to score on a passed ball and freshman Rebecca Seifert (Franklin, Mass./Franklin) scored the final run of the inning on a hit-by-pitch, stolen bases, wild pitch and throwing error. 

The Rams countered in the bottom half of the fourth with seven runs on six hits, no errors and one runner left on base. Michalowski scored on a wild pitch, sophomore Meghan Acton (Levittown, N.Y./Island Trees) notched a two-run double to left field and junior Michelle Mongiello (Elmont, N.Y./Sewanhaka) gave Farmingdale State its first lead of the game with a sacrifice fly to left field. Junior Marissa Monaco (Bohemia, N.Y./Connetquot) added a two-run triple to right-center field and freshman Andrea Klarman (Medford, N.Y./Longwood) capped the scoring with a run-producing single to left field. 

After a 1:10 weather delay in the top of the seventh, Rocha launched a solo home run to center field with two outs, her 20th career collegiate homer, before Webb induced a pop out to short to end the game. 

Wheaton is now 23-18 overall in NCAA postseason play in its eight-year history in the tournament (1997-1999, 2001-2004, 2014). Today's game featured two weather delays in the top of the third and seventh which spanned nearly two complete hours (1:55).

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