Framingham, Mass. – Junior Anna Dziok (Southampton, Mass.) laced a two run single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the top seeded Framingham State University softball team to a 5-4 victory over second seed Westfield State University in the championship game of the 2017 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Softball Tournament at Maple Street Field.
With the win, the Rams improve to a school best 30-11 on the year and capture their second MASCAC Softball Tournament Title. The Rams receive the MASCAC's automatic bid to the 2017 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament. Pairings and seedings for the tournament will be announced on Monday, May 8th at 1 p.m. on ncaa.com.
With the loss, the Owls see their season come to a close at 19-18.
Sophomore Kelsi Gunarathne (North Providence, RI) earned Tournament MVP honors after going 3-0 in the tournament allowing just six runs, three earned, in 21 innings of work while earning the victory in the circle in the championship game. Gunarathne went the distance against the Owls and allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
The Owls took a 4-3 lead in the top of the seventh inning and retired the first two Rams in the bottom of the inning, but the Rams rallied for two runs on four straight hits with two outs to secure their first MASCAC Tournament Title since 2007. Junior Dayna Marchant (East Bridgewater, Mass.) singled up the middle and freshman Mycala Moody (North Attleboro, Mass.) and junior Megan Downing (Hanson, Mass.) followed with infield singles up the middle to load the bases for Dziok. Dziok delivered a single up the middle scoring Marchant, and Moody beat the throw home from the outfield with the championship winning run.
The Rams struck first in the game with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Sophomore Lauren Salisbury (Cranston, RI) doubled and bunt single from senior Rachel Desrochers (Westford, Mass.) two runners on with no outs. A bunt single from Marchant loaded the bases and after an out Downing delivered a two run single to center. Marchant tagged on a fly ball to right and the throw got away allowing Marchant to cross the plate with the third run of the inning.
The Owls cut the deficit to 3-1 on a solo homerun to left from senior Erika Gouin (Hampden, Mass.) in the top of the forth.
Westfield State tied the game with two runs in the top of the fifth. Senior Emma Dunbar (Weymouth, Mass.) singled and after an out a single by Liz Kelly (Quincy, Mass.) gave the Owls runners on second and third. Senior Julia Sullivan (West Barnstable, Mass.) delivered a two run single to right tying the game at 3-3.
Westfield took their first lead of the day in the top of the seventh. One out singles from sophomore Bri Tortora (Worcester, Mass.) and Kelly put runners on first and second. After a pop out, Maddy Atkocaitis (Westfield, Mass.) walked to load the bases. Tortora scored from third on a passed ball for the 4-3 lead and a ground out ended the inning setting the stage for the Rams walk off in the bottom of the inning.
Sophomore Sarah Eugenio (Marshfield, Mass.) took the loss for the Owls allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks.