Moravian Box Score
SELINSGROVE, Pa. - The Susquehanna softball team advanced to the Landmark Conference Championship game after a one-year absence but could not fend off defending champion Moravian, falling 8-0 in the final game of the weekend.
SU (26-14) opened the day with a win over Catholic before falling to the Greyhounds (31-9), who advance to the regional round of the NCAA Tournament against a yet-to-be-determined opponent. NCAA Tournament matchups and at-large bids will be announced Sunday night.
The Crusaders eliminated Catholic thanks to a 5-0 win in Saturday’s second game. Bridget Rafter (Highlands, N.J./Henry Hudson Regional) and Lisa Finizio (Oakland, N.J./Indian Hills) had two hits apiece and Kathryn Gilbert (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) drove in two of the five runs.
Starter Alison Cullen (Branchburg, N.J./Immaculata) went six complete innings and scatted just three hits while Sarah Hoffman (Laceyville, Pa./Wyalusing Valley) pitched the final two innings and gave up only two hits to help seal the win.
The Crusaders wasted no time in putting runs on the board as they broke through for three runs on two hits. Stephanie Chlebove (Northampton, Pa./Northampton Area) sent home the first run on a bunt that scored Brianna Murphy (Hazlet, N.J./Mater Dei), who led off the inning with a first-pitch triple. A Catholic error allowed another run to score before Gilbert came through with a two-out single to make it 3-0.
SU tacked on solo runs in the third and fourth innings and Cullen and Hoffman shut down the Cardinals for the remaining innings to advance to the potential championship game against Moravian.
All three starting pitchers were called into action in that championship game, with Morgan Lewis (Newtown, Pa./Council Rock North) getting the starting nod. She gave up five runs, four of which were earned, in 2.1 innings of work. Hoffman surrendered the final three runs to Moravian, with just two of them earned, in 1.1 innings. Cullen tossed the final 0.1 innings and gave up one hit.
Both teams swapped zeroes until the bottom of the third when Moravian broke through for seven runs on five hits and two SU errors.
The Crusaders put one runner on in the fourth but were unable to get the runner home. Moravian tacked on an eighth run in the fourth and closed out the game by striking out Rafter.