The Carlow University softball team used a strong all-around performance to put away SUNY Canton, 4-2, in a USCAA National Champion Tournament elimination game Tuesday evening, at Firestone Stadium, in Akron, Ohio.
Nicole Hall (JR/Jeannette, Pa.) pitched five innings and picked up the win for the No. 3 Celtics. She allowed one run on just three hits and three walks. Caitlyn Suter (FR/Monaca, Pa.) pitched the final two innings and earned the save, allowing one run on three hits, while striking out two.
The duo got plenty of help from a strong Carlow defense, which made just one error against the No. 4 Roos. The performance followed an error-free game in a 2-0 loss to Cleary University earlier in the afternoon.
Left fielder Sofia Papageorge (SO/Beaver Falls, Pa.) paced a Carlow offense that earned seven hits. She went 2-for-3, with a triple and two RBIs.
Kelsey Geyer (JR/East Pittsburgh, Pa.), who finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate, quickly singled to left field and stole second base in the first inning. She scored easily on a hit by Allison Hryadil (SR/Kennedy Township, Pa.), who went 2-for-2 in the contest and earned her third RBI of the tournament.
The Celtics extended their lead to 2-0 in the second inning on a pair of hits by Papageorge and catcher Abby Tatgenhorst (FR/Byesville, Ohio) and an error by the Roos.
SUNY Canton finally got to Hall in the fifth inning and cut Carlow’s lead to 2-1. With runners on second and third, Stefanie Miller hit an RBI single to center field. But Celtics center fielder Kenzie Young (SR/Leechburg, Pa.) made a strong throw to Tatgenhorst, who tagged out the second runner at the plate to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, Papageorge gave the Celtics all the insurance they needed. She drove a two-RBI triple into left field, scoring Hryadil and Ashley Hoak (FR/Elizabeth, Pa.).
In the top of the seventh inning, the Roos tried to rally on two outs. Valerie Clark hit an RBI single to right field and advanced to second base, but Suter struck out the last batter and Carlow hung on for the win.
The Celtics advance to the loser’s bracket semifinal at 4pm Wednesday. They will take on the winner of the another elimination game Tuesday night between No. 5 Penn State Brandywine and No. 7 Judson.