DALLAS, Pa. – McDaniel scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning in its first game of the day en route to a 2-0 Saturday in the 2014 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) South softball tournament.
The Green Terror (29-15) took its opening game of the double-elimination weekend tournament by a 6-1 margin over Alvernia before advancing to the championship game with a 4-0 win over host Misericordia. McDaniel, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will face the winner of Sunday's first game between the top-seeded Cougars (25-16) and the third-seeded Crusaders (23-15) at noon. The winner of the 10 a.m. will have to defeat the Green Terror twice for the title while McDaniel needs just one win for the championship.
Jackie Liebowitz (Bellerose, N.Y./Benjamin N. Cardozo) led the offense for McDaniel, rapping out five hits that included a 3-for-3 showing against Alvernia.
Caroline Brehm (Hanover, Pa./New Oxford) did her work in the circle, fanning 26 batters in the two games. Against Misericordia, she allowed just an infield single to lead off the second inning before retiring the last 18 she faced for the 12-strikeout shutout. The 26 strikeouts on the day gives 378 on the season, breaking her own single-season program record of 377 during her freshman campaign. It also gives her an even 1,100 for her career.
In the opener with Alvernia, the Crusaders plated one run in the top of the first inning after Amanda Galanti was hit by the first pitch of the game. Samantha Penk sacrificed her to second base before an Amanda Turner two-out single scored Galanti with the game's first run.
In the bottom of the frame, Stacey Armacost (Glenville, Pa./South Western) was hit by a pitch with one out.
Stephanie Maring (Woodbine, Md./South Carroll) followed with a single up the middle to put runners at first and second.
Lauren Stricker (Mt. Airy, Md./South Carroll) followed with a single through the left side that momentarily loaded the bases. After the throw went home, Maring was caught off the bag at second, drawing the throw that was not handled cleanly and allowed Armacost to score and tie the game.
With runners at the corners, Liebowitz ripped a double into the left-field corner to score both runners for a 3-1 lead.
Singles from Armacost, Maring, Emily Sneeringer (Hanover, Pa./South Western) and Liebowitz pushed the lead to 4-1 in the third.
Maring reached on a one-out single in the fifth – her third hit of the game – before Sneeringer came to the plate with two outs.
Sneeringer ripped a ball down the line that Green Terror players and coaches believed left the yard on the fair side of the pole but was called foul by the home-plate umpire. One pitch later, Sneeringer left no doubt, clearing the fence several feet in fair territory for a two-run home run and 6-1 advantage.
An Armacost double to the gap gave McDaniel a one-out baserunner in the third inning against Misericordia.
Two batters later, Stricker singled into center field to score Armacost with the first run of the game.
A two-out Stricker single in the fifth coupled with a Sneeringer walk put runners at first and second.
Liebowitz doubled into left field to score Stricker before Sam Stitely (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) ripped a ball down the third-base line that went off the glove of the fielder and into foul territory, allowing Sneeringer to score the third run of the game.
Ally Galati (Milford, Pa./Cornwall Central) drew a leadoff walk an inning later before Sidney followed with a double the landed just in fair territory and rolled into the corner of the park, putting runners at second and third.
Galati tagged on a fly ball to left field but was unable to score until the throw home went to the backstop and she slid in under the tag for a 4-0 lead.
Stricker had two of the Green Terror's eight hits in the game.