Click here for 2011 MASCAC Championship Boxscore
Courtesy Westfield State Sports Information
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Tournament MVP Michaella Mahoney pitched a three-hitter and Aimee Lamoreaux lined a two-run triple to lead Worcester State University to a 2-1 victory over Westfield State University in the championship game of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) softball tournament.
Worcester, 28-9, earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national tournament that begins this week. It is the Lancers’ first MASCAC postseason tournament title and the second time they will be participating in the NCAA Tournament; the first year was 1987.
Mahoney was the MVP as she pitched complete games in tournament victories over Salem State, Bridgewater State and Westfield. She also slugged the game-winning hit vs. Bridgewater in the semifinals, a three-run homer.
Westfield, which shared the MASCAC regular season title with Worcester, finishes with a 22-19 record, the Owls’ fifth straight 20-win season. After losing to Bridgewater, 7-2, in the first round, the Owls battled back through the loser’s bracket with victories over Salem, 1-0, and Bridgewater, 2-0.
Westfield – the designated visiting team in the championship game – took a 1-0 first-inning lead with the aid of two Worcester errors.
Kristyn Carroll reached safely on a fielding error to lead off the game and Lisa Policelli reached safely on another error on a sacrifice bunt. Carroll advanced to third on the miscue then Policelli stole second.
Alicia Gardner’s bunt single scored Carroll and Policelli moved to third. Gardner then stole second. But with runners and second and third and no outs the Owls were unable to capitalize as Mahoney got a popup, a strikeout and a groundout to end the big scoring threat.
In Worcester’s two-run third inning, Carolynn Hassett walked and with two outs Ashley Howe hit a sharp grounder up the middle. Carroll, Westfield’s second baseman, made an outstanding diving stop and threw the ball to second for a forceout attempt. But Hassett barely beat the throw to keep the inning alive. Lamoreaux then tripled in the right-center gap to score the tying and winning runs.
The Owls’ only other scoring threat came in their final at bats. Amber Coburn drew a two-out walk and Courtney Begin slapped a hard single to centerfield. But Mahoney closed out the game by getting Carroll to fly out to deep centerfield.
Mahoney struck out six and walked two in boosting her record to 16-2. Westfield coach Lou Ann Simchak gave the starting pitching nod to freshman Kerry Alcott, who did not pitch against the Worcester during the regular season when the Owls swept the Lancers, 3-0 and 10-1.
Alcott hurled a strong four and two-thirds innings before being relieved by Madeline Tomich. Alcott yielded four hits: two to both Howe and Lamoueaux. She walked two and fanned two.