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AU softball team defeats sixth-ranked Cortland, 3-1, at NCAA Regional
5/14/10

ITHACA, NY – The Alfred University softball team defeated Cortland, 3-1, Friday afternoon to remain unbeaten at the NCAA Regional tournament at Ithaca College. With the win over Cortland -- sixth-ranked in the country and top-seeded in the tournament -- AU improves to 36-6 (2-0 in the regional) and advances to take on second-seeded Ithaca in Saturday's winner's bracket final.

AU junior pitcher Chelsey Cary (Corfu, NY/Pembroke) won her matchup with Cortland’s Katie Finch, tossing six innings of shutout ball as AU built a 3-0 lead. Cortland scored a run with two outs in the seventh but Cary got Kayla Lynch to ground out with a runner on first to end the game. Cary improved to 18-3 on the year, allowing a run on four hits and striking out five. Cary’s 18th win of the year ties her with teammate, sophomore Nicole Hedrick (Albany, NY/Catholic Central)and former Saxon Ilana Price for the school single-season record.

AU took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when sophomore third baseman Molly Shepherd (Camillus, NY/West Genesee) singled with one out and scored on a double by senior shortstop Jesika LeBarron (Campbell, NY/Corning West). AU added an unearned run in the fourth to go up 2-0. LeBarron walked to open the inning and advanced to second on a single by junior first baseman Ashley Passaro (Long Beach, NY/Long Beach) before scoring on an error on a sacrifice bunt by senior second baseman Karen Folts (Penn Yan, NY/Penn Yan).

The Saxons loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh and plated an insurance run with one out. Hedrick opened the inning with a triple and AU loaded the bases on consecutive walks to Shepherd and LeBarron. Hedrick was out at home on Passaro’s fielder’s choice, but Shepherd scored when Folts grounded out to second.

Cortland scored after Donnalynn Cross singled to with one out in the seventh and advanced to second on the throw. After a fly-out, Cross stole third and scored on Emily Ringen’s single, but Cary got Kayla Lynch to ground out to short to end the game.

Shepherd was 2-for-3 with two runs, LeBarron scored a run and drove one in, and Passaro had two hits in four at-bats to lead Alfred. Lorraine Stoddard had two hits and Cross (run) and Ringen (RBI) each had one for Cortland (39-7). Cortland pitcher Katie Finch fell to 26-3 on the season, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, striking out 11.

Alfred, the fourth-seeded team in the regional, will play Ithaca (a 3-1 winner over third-seeded Lebanon Valley Friday) at 2 p.m. Saturday. Cortland plays sixth-seeded Polytechnic at 10 a.m. Saturday in an elimination game.