Click Here For NEC Championship Headquarters
#3 LIU Brooklyn 5, #2 Quinnipiac 0
Click Here For Boxscore
Moon Township, PA -- LIU Brooklyn is a 12-time Northeast Conference softball champion and certainly played like one to open the 2012 NEC Tournament on Thursday in Moon Township, PA. Behind a five-hit shutout from sophomore Cassie Vondrak (Carson City, NV/Western Nevada College), the third-seeded Blackbirds stopped second-seeded Quinnipiac, 5-0.
All was quiet through the first five innings of play, but with two on in the sixth, LIU Brooklyn’s Emily Kakuska (Fontana, CA/A.B. Miller) sent one over the left field fence to score three and put the Blackbirds up 3-0. The homer was the fourth if the season for Kakuska.
Sterling Hoham (Norco, CA/Riverside Christian) started off the inning with an infield single for the Blackbirds. Ariana Calderon (Sacramento, CA/St. Francis) came in to pinch run for Hoham and advanced to second on an error which allowed Jazmin Rodriguez (Sylmar, CA/L.A. Baptist) to reach first. Kaksuka then stepped to the plate for the decisive hit.
LIU Brooklyn added two more in the seventh as Paris Shipp (Westlake, CA/Thousand Oakes) reached on a fielder’s choice which was followed by a walk from Nichole Toven (Northridge, CA/Chatsworth) to put two on. After the runners advanced on a groundout, Hoham then steped to the plate again and singled up the middle to score two, giving the Blackbirds a 5-0 advantage.
First team All-Conference honoree Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, CA/Capistrano Valley) threw eight strikeouts in seven innings for the Bobcats, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits.
Vondrak improved to 10-6 on the year for LIU. She fanned three and did not issue a walk.
#1 Robert Morris 8, #4 Monmouth 2
Click Here for Box Score
Moon Township, PA -- In the second contest of the day at the 2012 NEC Softball Championships, top-seeded Robert Morris downed #4 Monmouth, 8-2. The Colonials will next face #3 LIU Brooklyn in the first game on Friday morning at 10:00 am, while the Hawks take on #2 Quinnipiac at 12:30 pm.
The Colonials started the game off with a bang and continued to make noise through seven as the Red and Blue collected eight runs and ten hits. Leading the way for Robert Morris was Cassie Show (Connellsville, PA/Connellsville) who finished 3-4 with a run and two RBIs.
Tess Apke (Mt. Lebanon, PA/Mt. Lebonon) was the first to the plate for the Colonials and smacked a single up the middle, which was followed by a single to right by senior Sarah Capp (McKees Rocks, PA/Montour). Jaci Timko (Houston,PA/Chartiers Valley) walked to load the bases. Show then stepped to the plate and singled to right to score Apke and Capp.
Monmouth answered right back in the top of the second as Chelsea Paprocki (Manassas, VA/Forest Park) doubled down the left field line to score Kayleena Flores (Atwater, CA/Buhach Colony) and Vanessa Cardoza (Santa Ana, CA/Ocean View) and pull the Hawks to within 3-2.
But it would be all Robert Morris from that point as the Colonials scored two more in the bottom of the second, benefiting from a pair of Monmouth errors.
Timko's RBI single made it 6-2 in the fourth and the Colonials added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth. Show starting the inning off with a single to leftfield and advanced to second after Chelsea Siar (Glenshaw, PA/Shaler Area) was hit by a pitch. Following a double steal. Show scored on a ground out and Siar crossed home plate on another Monmouth error.
NEC Pitcher and Rookie of the Year Nicole Sleith (Smithton, PA/Yough) tossed a complete game seven hitter, allowing one earned run. She struck out nine batters. The win was her 25th, breaking the program record for single-season victories. The victory also marked the 35th of the season for the Colonials which also breaks the program record for victories.
Monmouth’s Lauren Sulick (Canfield, OH/Canfield) took the loss for the Hawks after pitching three innings. Jordan Barnett (Eads, CO/Eads) came in the relieve in the fourth.