Celtics earn berth to USCAA National Championship Tournament

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The Carlow University softball team received the No. 3 seed in the USCAA National Championship Tournament, and is heading to Akron, Ohio for its first round game on Monday, May 15.

The Celtics are set to take on No. 6 University of Maine at Presque Isle at 4pm, at Firestone Stadium, home of the National Pro Fastpitch team Akron Racers.

The Owls were slated to visit Carlow on March 27 in a regular-season contest, but it was canceled.

Carlow finished the season and the River States Conference tournament with a 16-18-1 record, while the Owls posted a 22-13 mark. Both teams enter the tournament on a two-game losing streak.

The winner advances to the quarterfinals, where it will face the survivor of the No. 2 Cleary University, No. 7 Judson College and No. 10 Penn State Fayette portion of the bracket. The quarterfinal contest will be played at 2pm Tuesday.

The loser will play again Monday, at 8pm, in the loser’s bracket of the double elimination tournament.

This is the third consecutive year the Celtics have qualified for the tournament. They finished as the runner-up in the 2016, falling in the title game to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, and placed third in 2015.

This is the second consecutive year Maine Presque Isle has advanced to the tournament.

First baseman Danielle Levato (SO/Beaver Falls, Pa.) leads the Celtics at the plate with a .368 batting average. Catcher Abby Tatgenhorst (FR/Byesville, Ohio) leads Carlow in RBIs, with 20, and homeruns, with three.

Center fielder Kenzie Young (SR/Leechburg, Pa.) and third baseman Allison Hryadil (SR/Kennedy Township, Pa.) solidify the heart of the Carlow lineup. Young is batting .353, with five doubles, two triples and 13 RBIs. Hryadil is batting .347, with seven doubles, a homerun and 16 RBIs.

The Celtics pitch by committee, with Nicole Hall (JR/Jeannette, Pa.), Madison Miller (SO/North Huntingdon, Pa.) and Caitlyn Suter (FR/Monaca, Pa.) each posting four wins.

Hall and Miller have each thrown 67.1 innings, while Hall has two saves and Miller has 41 strikeouts. Suter leads the group in ERA, at 1.98.

Maine Presque Isle has a team batting average of .344. Junior utility player Nicole Marucci leads the Owls at the plate with a .398 batting average and 29 RBIs.

Junior Sara Packard is the workhorse in the circle, pitching 221.1 innings for the Owls. She has a 22-13 record, a 3.29 ERA, and 199 strikeouts on the season.

More information and complete brackets can be found at theuscaa.com

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