The third seeded Newbury College advances to the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Semifinals after defeating sixth seed Regis College, 4-1, Tuesday afternoon. Senior righthander Rebecca Roach (Charlton, Mass.) went the distance, tossing seven innings allowing just one unearned run on five hits while striking out five Pride batters.
Regis threatened to score first in the opening frame after first year righthander Haley Fountain (Warren, Mass.) worked a one-out walk to load the bases in the top of the first. However, Roach was able to get out of inning unscathed, snaring a line-drive off the bat of first year righthander Katie Cuozzo (Lynn, Mass.) then turned one out into two catching sophomore shortstop Samantha Bliss (Framingham, Mass.) leaning too far off third.
After a scoreless first inning, Newbury finally broke-up the 0-0 stalemate in the home half of the second. Keeping the inning alive Roach helped her own cause with a basehit into the left-centerfield gap before advancing to second on a single to right off the bat of first year leftfielder Tory Hoemke (Wilton, N.H.) to bring the line-up back around to the top. Junior shortstop Katie Haney (Winchendon, Mass.) wasted no time, lining a single back where it came from to plate Roach from second base for the game's first run.
Cuozzo pitched solid on the rubber and kept the Pride in the ballgame for the first two inning s before Newbury got to the first year righthander for three runs in the third.
After Roach retired the side in order by way of the strike – including registering her 400th career strikeout in the top of the third, first years, centerfielder Sheri Liggiero (Tewksbury, Mass.) and backstop Alyssa Donovan (West Haven, Conn.) opened the bottom half of the frame lacing back-to-back singles. Liggiero came in to score the first of three runs in the inning when first year first baseman Michaela McGowan (Nashua, N.H.) reached on an error by the shortstop. Moments later, sophomore third baseman Julia Flamenco (Copiague, N.Y.) drove in Donovan from second rocketing a base-hit to rightfield and send McGowan to third to give the Nighthawks runners at the corners and one out. First year second baseman Taylor Foley (East Setauket, N.Y.) lifted a high, towering fly ball to right for the second out but not before McGowan came in to score the fourth run of the game.
It was all Roach would need as she retired seven straight Pride batters before giving up a one-out walk to Fountain in the top of the fourth.
But Regis was not going to go away quietly. Cuozzo opened the top of the fourth lining a single into leftfield before being pinch-run for by senior Kara Donovan (Woburn, Mass.). After Donovan was wiped out on a fielder's choice by first year Raegan Heck (Phillipston, Mass.), two batters later pinch-hitter Shannon Bradish (Lawrence, Mass.) worked a two-out walk to give the Pride runners at first and second. Sophomore leftfielder Shannon Simonelli (Providence, R.I.) kept the inning alive reaching on an error allowing Heck get on her high horse and put Regis on the scoreboard. But that is all they would get as Roach got lead-off hitter, first year rightfielder Kirbie Garvey (Littleton, Mass.) to line out to second to end the ballgame.
Regis' season comes to a close, falling to 12-23 while Newubry improves to 19-17 and moves on to face second seed Becker (21-12, 14-4 NECC), who defeated seventh seed Mitchell College, 5-3, this afternoon, this Friday May 3rd at 12:00 p.m. in the NECC Double-Elimination Championship Tournament hosted by #1 Lesley University (21-17, 17-1 NECC).