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AU softball team ends season with NCAA regional final loss to Ithaca
5/16/10

ITHACA, NY – Ithaca College will play in next weekend’s NCAA Division III national softball championship tournament after beating Alfred University, 7-1, Sunday afternoon in the NCAA regional final.

With the loss, AU falls to 37-8 and finishes the most successful season in team history. Alfred, making its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, shattered the school record for wins (37); tied with Ithaca for the Saxons’ first-ever Empire 8 regular season conference title; and was ranked nationally for the first time ever (25th the week of May 3).

Host Ithaca (34-13) scored three unearned runs – all with two outs – in the top of the third against Alfred starter Nicole Hedrick (Albany, NY/Catholic Central). The Bombers’ Brittany Lillie had an RBI double and she and Kerry Barger later scored on an error. The Bombers added four more unearned runs in the fourth to go up 7-0. Annemarie Forenza and Katherine Wilson scored on an error on Kait Dolan’s one-out fielder’s choice, with Dolan advancing to third. Dolan scored on a groundout, and Barger doubled and scored on Molly O’Donnell’s double.

AU scored an unearned run in the sixth. Centerfielder Shannon Mather (Endicott, NY/Union-Endicott) led off with a single and advanced to third on Hedrick’s single. Hedrick stole second and, on an error by Ithaca’s catcher, Mather scored.

Hedrick, who’d earned the win in a 4-1 consolation final victory over Lebanon Valley earlier Sunday afternoon, allowed seven runs (none earned) on nine hits and struck out three. She finishes the year with a 19-4 record and a new AU school single-season record for wins. Mather had two hits for Alfred, while Hedrick, third baseman Molly Shepherd (Camillus, NY/West Genesee) and designated player Shanna Ewoldt (Tuscon, AZ/Waubansie Valley) each had one.

Alyssa Brook got the win for Ithaca, allowing an unearned run runs on five hits and striking out seven. Lillie pitched the final two innings, allowing no hits and striking out three. Lillie (run, RBI) and Dolan (run) each had two hits for the Bombers.


Shortstop Jesika LeBarron (Campbell, NY/Corning West), Shepherd and Hedrick were named to the regional all-tournament team for Alfred.