Softball Season Comes to an End at Atlantic 10 Tournament
May 14, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. - Fighting hard to the final at-bat, the Saint Joseph's softball team's season came to an end Friday afternoon with a 5-2 loss to Charlotte in the Atlantic 10 Tournament at the UMass Softball Complex. The Hawks capped a stellar year with a 29-18 record, their most wins since 2002 (32).
Playing in the elimination bracket, Saint Joseph's needed to top the third-seeded 49ers (40-17) and then first-seed Massachusetts to advance to the title game.
The outlook looked good early as SJU sophomore Erin Gallagher and Charlotte's Emily Jeffery were locked in a pitchers' duel. The two kept the game tied at 0-0 through the opening four innings.
The 49ers' offense struck first, plating four runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Tenaya Tucker scored the first run with a RBI single, while Serena Smith scored from third on a fielder's choice to make it 2-0. Keri Palma's single to right field off Gallagher made it a 3-0 advantage for Charlotte, while a fielding error by SJU's shortstop on a hot shot by Chelsea Stamey allowed Bri Gwaltney to score the fourth run.
The Hawks fought back in the top half of the sixth, cutting the deficit to 4-2. With runners at the corners and one out, sophomore Bernadette Moran singled center field, scoring freshman Dana Parks from third. Senior catcher Brooke Darreff made it a two-run game in the next at-bat, scoring junior Laura from second.
With two on and one out, Saint Joseph's had a great opportunity to tie the game. Unfortunately for the Hawks, Jeffery retired the next two batters to end the threat.
A bases-loaded walk by Palma made it a 5-2 game in the bottom of the sixth, and Jeffery retired the SJU batters in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Individually, Gallagher was the hard-luck loser, allowing three earned runs on 11 hits while striking out six and walking one. Falling to 24-9 on the year, Gallagher capped a stupendous season in which she set the single-season record for wins, strikeouts (242), innings pitched (236).
At the plate, Moran and Darreff both went 2-for-3 with a RBI, while Cardone and Parks each went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
OF NOTE: Darreff capped her career tied for 14th in program history with 160 hits and tied for fifth in home runs with 17...Gallagher finished the year with a 1.45 ERA overall and 1.03 ERA against A-10 teams.